It seems that Venom fans (and the dozens of people who actually liked Spider-Man 3) will be celebrating, as multiple sources are now confirming that a spin-off film of the iconic Spider-Villain will indeed happen. Writers of the upcoming film, Zombieland, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese are set to pen the screenplay. The writing duo actually had the opportunity to pitch the film to Sony Pictures, though were contractually-bound not to reveal too many details. According to Reese in an interview with ComingSoon/SuperHeroHype:
"Venom is something that we're very fired up to be writing. We have turned in a draft and are waiting to hear back, so it's early in the process. But it's a thrill to be writing 'Venom' for obvious reasons."
What then, would be the framework, under which a Venom film could possibly be contained? Well, Reese goes on to say:
"Obviously, with a character like Venom there's a ton of stuff to draw from. Then they had specific rules about the villain and the backstory and stuff like that, so there were certain things they wanted us... certain parameters they gave us. But largely we pitched them something and they liked it but they had changes, so we worked on the outline for a long time and then we wrote the script. So with Marvel and Sony and us it's definitely very, very collaborative."
The duo also implies to SciFi that they do not have Sam Raimi's disdain (if you could call it that) for the Venom character, and that they would be devoting plenty of research of the source material before moving forward.
"We read [Venom] growing up, but we were not experts," Reese said. "We certainly know the mythology of Venom, but went back and learned more when it became clear that we could actually get this job." Also adding, "It's source material that everybody knows and everybody's familiar with and everybody loves. There's a burden on you to meet the expectations of people. A lot of people are curious about Venom."
...Oh boy, where to begin?
I like the attitude that Reese and Wernick are bringing to the table. However, this undertaking is problematic in SO many ways. 800 lb. Gorilla in the Room: Venom DIED in Spider-Man 3. (In a hastily-designed wrap-up to a rushed and sloppy story.) Spidey threw a Goblin Pumpkin bomb right into Venom's core, and he, along with Eddie Brock disintegrated before our very eyes. That's pretty damn definitive, if you ask me.
Then there's the possibility of it being a completely different mythos. (à la Catwoman.) This is definitely a route I can see as being tempting to the creative team in the aftermath of what Spider-Man 3 left (both in a canonical and creative sense.) However, here's the problem: Sam Raimi's making Spider-Man 4! (And he will have full creative control, which should make it a better film.) With this fourth film set to hit theaters in May 2011, and Venom roughly set for 2012 (according to imbd) , the LAST thing fans want to see, are two distinct Spider-franchises floating out there around the same time, confusing people.
Sam Raimi has claimed in the past, that the deficiencies in Spider-Man 3 were due to his hands being tied, creatively. Seeing how good we know he can be, I'd be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. That being said, as we are gearing up for what (hopefully) should be a good Spider-Man film that will redeem the mistakes of the last one, we will also be set for something that possibly may be a constant reminder of that last one. Do we really need it?
I'm not going to preemptively poo-poo this Venom film, though. If they do this in the right way, cast it well, (I'm not too sure about Topher Grace) then it may actually redeem the third film. THAT is the best thing we can hope for, at this point.