Back in the days of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, when Sony and Fox played nice together, and before the now famous Marvel Studios/Sony Spidey collaboration agreement, Sony was planning an expanded universe of films around Spider-Man and the related characters they have the film rights to. Between Sony’s announcements and the infamous Sony Email Hacks the world learned that in addition to the then planned The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Sony was also planning 3 other films for their universe: The Sinister Six, Venom, and a spider-heroine film (it was never revealed who this heroine would be which is likely in part to Sony’s lack of rights to any heroines; Silk, Spider-Woman, and Spider-Gwen were each unavailable due to the finer points of Sony’s original contract with Marvel). This last week, Sony announced it still intends to move forward with one of the movies they planned back then: Venom.
What are the rumors?
You are all familiar with the nature of rumors on the internet; they are unreliable and vague. The rumors surrounding the Venom film are no different, that being said we could be covering spoilers, if you don’t mind than keep reading after the jump.
Venom will not be a part of the MCU
It’s all connected, except the X-Men,
Spider-Man, and Spider-Man related properties. Sony’s Venom falls into the not-so-connected area of the MCU in that it won’t be a part of the MCU. This is a terrible idea. Venom doesn’t work as a hero so he needs someone to fight, usually his “villain” or nemesis is none other than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but without him existing in the same space what do you do with him? Of course you could have him fight a Spider-Man that isn’t the MCU Tom Holland Spider-Man, because that wouldn’t be confusing to anyone.
The Old Team’s Swan Song
It is no secret that not everyone at Sony was happy with the Sony-Marvel Deal. The team members that were likely the least excited were the ones that had dreamed up and were creating universe mentioned above. Those same people are behind this project. Avi Arad, who has been involved with all five of Sony’s previous Spider-Films, is involved likely as a producer. Matt Tolmach, The Amazing Spider-Man series collaborator, is also likely to co-produce. The script has been penned by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer, Jeff Pinkner, and the only non-Spidey-alum Scott Rosenberg. It is noteworthy that when Marvel and Sony cut a deal some of these people were specifically identified as people to not involve in future Spider-Projects and others were tapped to produce the upcoming Spider-Films and then were seemingly cut out. This film might just be them spitting back at Marvel Studios.
A Franchise that Stands Apart
Sony has implied that they intend to create an entire franchise around Venom. How can they do that? There are other symbiotes of the same variety as Venom in the Marvel and Spider-Man comics, such as Carnage, Scream, and Toxin, but only Venom is well known and even among the comic book crowd only Carnage is commonly popular. These characters are all Symbiotes that are intended to enhance everything about their host, so how do you make a franchise about them and not about their non-super-powered hosts who happen to live in a universe filled with super-people that the to-be-hosts feel they will always be lessor than.
Venom is a Symbiote and thus thrives when attached to a host. Venom as a film should also function symbiotically with a franchise as its host. Because what happens to a symbiotic creature without a host? It dies.
Venom is scheduled for release on October 5th, 2018