"We'll eat your spleen if you make us dance at a jazz club!"
Hot on the heels of rewriting the upcoming Spider-Man 4 film for Sony Pictures, Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) may be coming aboard the Venom spin off, for Sony's sister company, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, according to Mike Fleming, a reporter for Variety. This comes as little surprise to people in the know, since Ross is working with Sony and Columbia on the upcoming Lance Armstrong film as a director, as well as the in-development Tokyo Suckerpunch. Pair this with his longstanding relationship with Tobey Maguire, teaming up with him for a third time on 2011's The Crusaders, and Ross seems like the most obvious candidate to pick up the first spin off from the highly successful Spider-Man film franchise.
The Variety report states that Ross will be beginning work on Venom after Spider-Man 4 finishes shooting (release date: May 6, 2011), and the film will give a fresh start for the character of Eddie Brock, though likely Topher Grace will be recast.
Venom actually debuted in 1984's Secret War, as Spider-Man's new costume mistakenly produced by what Spidey assumed was a costuming making machine, when he was unwillingly participating in the Beyonder's Battleworld games, as opposed to the "falling from the sky" origin used in the film. Spidey wore the 'black suit' for some time, discovering it made him stronger, produced natural webbing, and could mimic street clothes, but, as depicted in the movies, after several disturbing events including waking up to discover the costume was taking over as he slept, Peter, through sheer willpower, fought the influence of the symbiote, and managed to use sound (church bells in the film) to free himself. In both the books and the movies, the rejected alien parasite, like a bitter ex-lover, rebounded by latching onto Eddie Brock, a disgraced rival of Parker's at the Daily Bugle, and used his hate of our hapless hero to turn him into the vicious Venom. Unlike the movies, the comic version developed a penchant for eating spleens, which true fans, like yours truly, hopes will find its way onto the big screen.
How the character will spin off into its own film is still unknown, considering its apparent death at the end of Spider-Man 3, but with the possible rebooting of the franchise in the fifth and sixth movies in the series to be written by James Vanderbilt, it may be that we'll see a Venom closer to comic canon than previously shown.
What do you want to see from the upcoming Spider-Man and Venom films? Were you happy with Topher's performance? Let the Examiner know...
... or We'll eat your SPLEEN!