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– by Campbell Clark

Laying all my cards on the table I just don’t get what Sony is playing at with this upcoming Venom movie? So after mulling this over for the past year, I think it’s time for an angry rant about it.

Let’s break it down from what we know.

No Spider-Man (Maybe)?

Venom, appears to now have an origin completely different to that of the comics with no involvement from Spider-Man? So…. How did Venom get powers similar to that of Spider-Man? How and why will he have a giant white spider logo on his chest? I seriously can’t see the logic in this. I know Sony are masters of ignoring all logic when making movies, but this takes the biscuit for me.

Given the characters origin, I don’t see a situation where they can have this character appear without his prior history with Spider-Man. It’s like having a Joker origin film without using Batman (Oops it seems WB is planning this already, so it MUST be a good idea right?). Almost every character trait that both Eddie Brock and the symbiote has in common come from a hatred of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, whom, of course, they discover are the same person when they join. Venom then becomes an anti-Spider-Mann of sorts, with Carnage being a straight up sick evil version.

For all the flack Venom got in Spider-Man 3, at least the origin in the church was comic accurate, sure Black Suit Spidey might never have been evil enough in the comics to cruelly start emo dancing for the readers like he did in the movie. At least they got the church scene right, though?

Now, we hear that there is a strong rumour that Tom Holland will have a cameo in the movie….why? If the origin has nothing to do with Parker or Spider-Man, and it’s not connected to the MCU properly, then it becomes simply confusing and also annoying to have a Tom Holland cameo. It’s my number one biggest concern about this movie, what is the point of this other than to try and make some quick money off the implied connections to the MCU, which don’t really exist. Well, perhaps it simply IS to make some quick money off the implied connections to the MCU, which don’t really exist?

No MCU?

Here’s the thing, and I could be wrong, but it appears to me like Sony is trying to pull a fast one in their deal with Marvel. “Sure, you can use Spider-Man and we make the money from any Spidey film you make.” Sounds great, right? And then Sony announces Venom, with some vague references which seem to indicate Sony wants you to think it’s part of the MCU, but Marvel themselves have nothing to do with it.

Given producers Amy Pascal and Avi Arad’s history in movies, this seriously worries me. For one thing, it basically removes any chance of Marvel being able to properly tell the Venom/Carnage saga as part of their deal with Sony. Secondly, if the movie fails to perform, it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of casuals who will assume this is an MCU movie if it has a Tom Holland cameo.

It also saddens me as the whole Venom saga was one of my favourite ever Spider-Man stories and we just haven’t seen it done well on film yet. Will we ever see this now?

I feel like Spock struggling to understand the logic of these illogical Humans, it makes my brain hurt. Can they not see the failure in logic here, really?

Surely….If Sony wanted to make more movies than just Spider-Man, they could have proposed another level to the deal. Marvel gets access to all the Spidey characters, and they write and produce more than just Spider-Man movies for Sony, and in turn they can use any Spidey character in the MCU. Problem solved, and it’s all going to fit within the MCU.

At the moment it feels like Sony has dreams of creating a universe which rivals the MCU, (something they already failed at in the Amazing Spider-Man series). This seems to match the image I have of Pascal as we hear that she initially threw a sandwich at Kevin Feige and “half-jokingly” told him to “get the f**k out” when he called to propose the Spider-Man partnership.

Budget

Is this going to be a low budget affair or a high budget affair? I genuinely don’t know. On one hand, I see Tom Hardy signed up as Brock/Venom, but part of me wonders whether they decided to spend the cash on that casting choice to make the movie appear bigger than it is. The recent trailer, whilst early, had a distinct lack of any VFX. I could be so wrong, but I get the feeling we are going to have a lower budget affair with a minimum of decent VFX. Which is fine, for many movies and I would normally welcome it. But Venom and Carnage? Hmmm…

It still begs the question as to what is the plan Sony have for this scenario? With Silver and Black on the table as well, are we just going to get all the best Spider-Man characters appear without Spider-Man in Sony’s peculiar little universe of movies? I’m no movie producer, but does anyone of our readers think this has success written over it? Even with a lower budget, does Venom on his own and Silver and Black have the kind of clout to make some serious box office bank? I think we have to look at the juggernaut names that DC had in Justice League. The movie made less domestically in its entire run than Black Panther did in 4 days. How do you think a Venom standalone is going to fair, unless word of mouth is huge (meaning the movie has to be great), I see only failure ahead.

Conclusion

This to me reeks of the likes of Avi Arad and Amy Pascal clinging onto the power they possessed when Spider-Man was huge under Sam Raimi. They keep trying to replicate that success, but fail to understand the world is a different place than it was back then. Is it time for Sony to realise that these guys are simply no longer relevant and are at this point wasting money which Sony Pictures simply doesn’t have? Sony has recently been concentrating on hardware such as the PS4, which has been really successful and dominates, the current generation of consoles through a steady stream of first party exclusive titles.

We have heard rumour that they are considering selling their TV and film division to concentrate on the areas of their business that are doing well and making money. With the exception of the surprising Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, they haven’t been too hot on the film front. Is this a final throw of the dice, or is it Pascal and Arad desperately trying to stay relevant by grasping onto the only power franchise they have left until Sony finally decide to sell up?

I’ll let you readers decide on that one, but over the last year I’ve been thinking about all this and waiting for more information which might actually make some sense. It hasn’t come, and I can only conclude that Sony don’t have a bloody clue what the hell they are doing! Chime in below with your thoughts and concerns, perhaps you think I am being unreasonable towards a movie no one has seen yet? Or maybe you have been scratching your head as much as I have with this whole deal?

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