Fans of Spider-Man villain Venom who were upset that Sony’s rebooting of the superhero franchise probably meant that they wouldn’t be seeing a follow-up to the character’s appearance in Spider-Man 3 can be cheered by the fact that the studio is actively working on a film that will feature the evil alien symbiote on its own. According to the Los Angeles Times, Josh Trank, the director of the found footage superhero film Chronicle currently just finishing out its theatrical run to positive reviews and decent ticket sales, is currently in negotiations to helm the film.
Previously, Trask had been reported as being courted by Twentieth Century Fox to direct the reboot of their Fantastic Four franchise.
Introduced into comics back in 1984, Venom first appeared to be a mysterious liquid that Spider-Man found on an alien planet that formed into a new costume for the hero. It was only once that he was back on Earth that it was revealed that it was actually a living entity that bonds with a host and can control their actions. Spider-Man was eventually able to rid himself of the alien, though it would go on to take over newspaper man Eddie Brock and prove to be a formidable recurring foe for the superhero as the character became a fan favorite through the 1990s. Topher Grace played Eddie Brock in 2007’s Spider-Man 3.
Sony has been working on spinning off the character to his own film for some time. In the fall of 2008, the studio hired Zombieland scriptwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to draft a script with Gary Ross looking like the one who would direct. Ross ultimately passed and moved on to the upcoming Hunger Games adaption. Jacob Estes turned in a draft which reportedly made the character more anti-hero than villain. The Times‘ source states that producers are looking for a new writer for the project, so it may be that all those previous drafts have been trashed.
Presumably, Venom will be a film independent of the Spider-Man character.
I have to admit that I am not much of a fan of the character. There was nothing about him that I could ever really connect too, and his rise to fan favorite happened at a time when I wasn’t that thrilled with a lot of storytelling decisions going on at Marvel. And his shoehorning into Spider-Man 3 at the insistence of the studio really threw that film out of balance. Perhaps the character will work better on its own. After all, the idea of someone discovering some alien artifact and then struggling with the morality and responsibility of th power it imbues in him is the basic story of Chronicle, so perhaps Trask is the man for this job.