– by Joseph Jammer Medina

LRM reported the other day that Tom Hardy is tapped to star in the Ruben Fleischer directed Venom. Starring as Eddie Brock, we’ll see how Eddie came across the Venom symbiote and wrecked havoc across New York City. The film will NOT have the character of Peter Parker, or Spider-Man, involved however. The film is set to be an R-rated film.

There are some good and bad points to this. First off, Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock is a great choice. Even in horrible films like Star Trek: Nemesis, Tom Hardy has a way of making his presence felt on screen. Taking on such unique roles as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, or Max in Mad Max: Fury Road, he’s shown a range of character that is unique for genre films. Seeing him play Eddie Brock in a serious Venom film is definitely an exciting prospect.

Ruben Fleischer is a good choice to direct the movie. He’s shown in movies such such as Zombieland that he is able to take an R-rated genre film and add elements to it that can appeal to a much wider audience. That’s going to be important for a Venom film. Superhero movies can be dark, yet they must have some elements of light in them to appeal to a large audience.

The problem with a Venom film is simple. Why make it if you’re not going to include Peter Parker, or Spider-Man? Spider-Man was integral in the development of the Venom character in the comics. To omit him from the film makes me question why the movie needs to be made in the first place. Would you make a movie about The Joker without Batman being involved somehow? Would you make a movie about Ernst Stavro Blofeld without James Bond at least making an appearance? I understand that Spider-Man is tied up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the moment. I also understand that Sony would want to be protective of the IP’s they have control over. Why let Marvel have access to everything?

To me, this comes off as a potential power play by Sony. Amy Pascal had some interesting comments to say about Spider-Man’s involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

Spider-Man is only contractually obligated to be in the MCU as far as the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, after his involvement in Infinity War. What Sony could be doing is to try and get Spider-Man back in the good graces of movie audiences with his inclusion in the MCU. From there, they try and create stand alone films with characters like Venom, and a potential Sinister Six movie that do not include Spider-Man. After the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming hits and Peter Parker is back in Sony’s hand exclusively, they can add that character into the stand alone projects, giving movies like Venom the rub from the MCU that Sony won’t allow that character to currently have. Spider-Man is one of the few properties that is currently making Sony any money. It would make sense that Sony would want to set the stages for monetizing the Spider-Man property for as long as they can. Doing it without Spider-Man‘s involvement just doesn’t make any sense. I’m all for giving the movie a chance. If Venom finds a way to succeed, I’ll enjoy it because Venom deserves a good movie, but Sony is starting things off on the wrong foot.

What do you think? Are you excited for a Venom movie? Do you think the movie will suffer without Spider-Man being involved? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.