Why Sony’s Venom Movie Is Already A Failure

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
February 11th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

The stand-alone Venom movie from Sony Pictures reeks of desperation, especially after the inclusion of Spider-Man within Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. With, the company is betting on success with Venom to help fund a spin-off universe based on Spider-Man's villain gallery. Tainting any inclusion of these characters within the world established in Spider-Man: Homecoming. But can it stand on two front legs? Or weigh the pressure.

One of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.

Venom

Venom's first teaser was a brooding mess void of any personality, only confirming that Sony Pictures have no idea about what makes the symbiote so alluring. I know it's a teaser but nothing in the 1-minute runtime felt Venom remotely, in fact just feels like a cheap action knock-off. And with, Sony Picture's push for the "Lethal Protector" it's a major shame. Fans want the studio to embrace Venom with crazy villains and grotesque violence. Instead, we got brooding dialogue and separate action which seems at odds with the character's beginnings.

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The aggressive push for a Venom spin-off is nothing new to fans, with Sony Pictures shoehorning the character into Spider-Man 3 a universally panned conclusion to Sami Rami's trilogy. Which ultimately led to a breakdown of development on Spider-Man 4, giving birth to the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series which blew in their faces after two mediocre installments. Mainly due to the sequel's mangled story and bizarre focus on setting up a series of films (including the anti-hero Venom/Eddie Brock) and his fight against his inner demons.

Writings on the wall for possible failure, but Avi Arad has been on the characters case for almost a decade, and in October 2018 his wishes come correct with Tom Hardy's Venom spin-off movie. A film set to establish a universe, apart from just-released Spider-Man: Homecoming, with his villains taking the roles of superheroes. Another attempt to rival Disney's success in the hot money making genre of comic book films. Despite Sony Pictures impressive casting of Tom Hardy in the lead role, I voiced strong opinions on it being separate from Marvel's Spider-Man series. As it just spits in the characters face and subjects Venom into a pointless entity within the comics.

Venom

One uniquely hilarious idea when the characters are linked together, as the Symbiote was first seen in Marvel's Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 (December 1984). As Spider-Man's suit is destroyed in battle and he accidentally is replaced by a black substance, which turns out to be an alien looking for its host. Eventually, Spider-Man brings the symbiote to earth, where it merges with adult reporter Eddie Brock who shares a mutual hatred for Peter Parker with Venom.

I understand Avi Arad, and Amy Pascal wants to establish their universe, but doesn't remove his backstory make him a lesser character? Eddie Brock's connection with Peter Parker is what makes him an intriguing villain. Throwing that away feels like wasted potential, as Venom could make for a brilliant villain within the already established world.

Instead, Sony is insisting on pushing him away from the source material and are alienating fans that grew up in the 90's Venom obsession for a cheap money pit. It's embarrassing to see Spider-Man's most complex, and original villain being treated in such poor taste. He should be battling within the MCU instead of being shoehorned into another universe that has no reason of being. But maybe he will strive alone? Only time will tell.

 

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One Comment

  1. Samir Goel says:

    I actually like the inner brooding of Eddie facing his demons and the symbiote making his life as he says hell because they are first starting out and the symbiote actually does do that. While you bring up some really good points, I think your knowledge of the character’s arc is only of the past generation growing up on Eddie but you are right he has a very complex characterization. Let me clarify what I mean about the past generation. Eddie is in truth an anti-hero and had and still carries a distaste for Parker after being outted by him where he lost his job and blames Parker for his failure to do the job properly but instead took short cuts to try to scoop and one up Parker.

    This rivalry kind of ends in Amazing Spiderman 375 when the two mutually agree to stay out of each other’s way and so the universe splits with Parker continuing to be the “friendly neighborhood Spiderman” and Eddie becoming the “lethal protector” Now for those who don’t know the character all that well the alien has a mind of its own and has a very violent blood lust that corrupts its host’s mind and can potentially be reflected in them looking insane. Eddie faces his own dose when his wife Anne carries the symbiote in Sinner Takes All (I read a synopsis and just waiting to receive the set) and becomes the monster that Eddie appears to be and he calls her crazy!

    Eddie and the symbiote eventually part company and as it is revealed he is dying of cancer but despite parting companies with the symbiote after trying to control it with an Alchemex serum the symbiote searches for a new host but part of it is still attached to Eddie. Eddie eventually gets a cure and the piece as to my understanding that is left behind is turned into anti-venom which unlike the black original symbiote doesn’t take control of the host.

    In any case, prior to Eddie getting the cure he is locked up in Ryker’s and is next to Lee Price who hears about the whole thing. A piece of the symbiote breaks off and because Eddie is detached from it and the symbiote thinking that it was insignificant there is no knowledge gained to Eddie. Inevitably, Lee Price who has his own backstory which is rich becomes Venom and is even nastier than Eddie before he loses it to Eddie once again. Price eventually steals Andrea Benton’s symbiote which was attached to her when Agent Venom Flash Thompson tries to protect her from getting killed. She becomes
    Mania only to have her symbiote taken from her by Price who now is Maniac possibly on the same level as Carnage in psychopathy.

    Regardless, the first symbiote spawn was Cleteus Kassidy and he is a serial killer totally psychotic and someone who Eddie temporarily teams with when trying to beat Parker (Spiderman). Inevitably, realizing that Kassidy is a huge threat to him he needed Spidey’s help to bring him down. Kassidy also has an interesting ally and girlfriend in Shriek who has the power to sonically split things good to take the aliens down. Her powers were activated by her confrontation with Cloak and Dagger.

    The whole point to all of this is that Spidey really isn’t needed. Maybe just a cameo to set the whole thing up can suffice. But as far as bringing Cleteus/Carnage down maybe you bring in Agent Anti-Venom Flash Thompson who also donned the black symbiote but had the same problems that Eddie did and tried to control it using the serum as well.

    I haven’t seen enough in the trailer to see where they are going with this movie but yes you can definitely expand the
    Marvel Cinematic Universe and successfully keep it separate but from what I have read they are not as they want it in the
    same space as Spidey to potentially bring out the Sinister Six which can be successful only if they take the Avengers formula to build it and the seeds are sort of laid out as what is being said is that there have already been the Vulture,
    Shocker; Mysterio, Kraven are being thrown around but have yet to be shown in the movies. Carnage is a strong possibility given that they are joining the universe–Dock Ock and Sandman weren’t part of the reboot so I doubt they will be there. What is likely are: Electro, Shocker, Vulture, Carnage, Mysterio and Kraven all from the reboot(s)The original Sinister Six Doc Ock, Sandman, Vulture, Mysterio, Electro, Kraven–I have problems with Kraven because like you I am a bit of a purist, that is unless it is his son as Kraven killed himself in Kraven’s Last Hunt although the Sinister Six was around before he did so.

    I think the Sinister Six would be a cool movie but the only reason Spidey always beats them is because of their own hubris and egos which works for the comics but wouldn’t work for me in the movies and that is why I don’t think Spidey will battle them alone if they make the movie, he will have help in the form of Black Cat and Silver Sable (coming from the Silver and Black would be my guess) potentially Eddie Brock coming from the Venom movie as well as Flash Thompson who I believe will be in Venom and if not he would a good role to have in Silver and Black as the Black Cat and Silver Sable are rumored to be going up against some really nasty characters in Mendall Stromm, Tombstone, Scorpion, and I am surprised that Riz is playing a doctor in Venom but I believe it will be revealed he will be the Chameleon as he was rumored to play that part in Silver and Black so there will have to be some sort of a thread to bind all this seemingly complex web. Having Tom as Parker in the Venom movie can tie this thing up fairly well if they go that way.

    It will be interesting to see whether Venom will take Carnage down by himself which is doubtful or gets help by either Parker and who knows maybe Agent Anti Venom. As a last note, in the recent series Venom Inc Parker and Brock are still have uneasy terms between them the unifying force actually is Thompson who said that Spidey gave him a chance and he is doing so for Brock. The Black Cat has some ties to Brock as well as she has become more of an anti-hero as well going from what was once only robbing riches to actually taking over as the “Kingpin of Crime” from my understanding and has her own gang one that actually gets mixed up with Tombstone over territory. She and Brock part on good terms in Venom Inc Omega.

    The universe can be separate and successful but it looks like the studio wants to create a melee which can be cinematically grand and spectacular and more and more characters can emerge if done properly in their respective movies. I gather the next Holland movie will have him going up against Kraven and Mysterio and maybe tie the Chameleon in the mix hard to say as anything is possible. As long as they make good movies I honestly don’t mind what they do but you need to have strong characterizations and introduce them properly.

    I am definitely looking forward to Venom and all I always say to my brother is I hope they don’t f’it up!!!

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