Like any comic property that has a million built-in fans, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is already getting swirled up in the rumor mill. Most recently is the thought that Marc Webb is planning on bringing Venom back to the big screen.
The boys over at /Film do a good job collecting what meager evidence there is here. If you don’t feel like clicking over, it goes something like this: Webb tweeted a photo of a locker numbered #14 that looks exactly like a locker numbered #14 from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic books that contained the Venom symbiote.
Additionally, Sony seems fairly intent on making a stand-alone Venom movie for some reason, despite never having gotten the character right to begin with. Their thinking is simple. If comic book fans have a soft spot for Venom, why not bring him to the big screen?
Sounds great, Sony, but it’ll only work if you don’t ruin him.
I hope I don’t have to describe all the ways Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 ruined Venom. I hope that you saw that film and hated it and hated what they did to Venom. But in case you forgot, let’s run it down quick.
In the comics: Venom is born when disgraced journalist Eddie Brock, a hulking, Olympian level athlete comes in contact with an alien symbiote that Peter Parker shunned. Brock, blaming Parker for his failures, hates him and the symbiote hates him for the rejection it suffered. The two become joined and form one of Spider-Man’s most iconic and beloved villains, the massive Venom. Over time the character underwent some changes, from Spidey villain to Lethal Protector before some massive changes ditched Brock altogether. But this is the Venom most fans associate with most.
In the Raimi film: Venom is a tiny Spider-clone played by tiny Topher Grace and it is horrible and bad and makes me cry grown-up tears.
If the rumor machine is to be believed (and honestly, it mostly shouldn’t) the signs are indicated that actor Dane DeHaan, who portrays Harry Osborn in the film, will inherit the Venom symbiote. This is, again, terrible.
DeHaan, you’ll recall, is himself a tiny kid who probably could have played the role of Peter Parker which means that he is, again, completely wrong for Venom. To be fair, things are slightly askew in the Ultimate Universe where The Amazing Spider-Man takes many of its cues. Ultimate Venom starts off as Eddie Brock Jr., a young, nerdy, small guy, so DeHaan fits. The Ultimate Version of Venom has undergone a bit of a metamorphasis of its own as well, starting off as a somewhat smaller version of what we know that utilized organic tentacles to swing around. Later on, Venom grew into a hulking version, much bigger than even the traditional Venom we know and love.
So what’s the deal? Well, I’m torn. I’m stuck right in the middle, as of right now. If this would turn out to be true, it could end up being awesome, or it could be absolutely terrible.
My gut reaction is that the DeHaan/Venom rumor brings to mind back-washed images of Topher Grace as a Spider-clone. That is not what Venom is. Despite having similar powers, Venom was never a direct mirror of Spider-Man. He was a big, brutish, monstrous character. Not just “evil Spider-Man.”
That said, if they go more towards an Ultimate Venom, DeHaan’s size makes sense only if they still go with a bulked up monster version of Venom. We’ve seen more than enough Spider-clone to last the rest of our lives. What we need now is a monster.
There is a lot that could be done with Venom. There are some great stories out there. When Venom was the Lethal Protector, it was cool. He had no problem killing bad guys – he was like a monster alien Punisher. There was a version of Venom under the Marvel Tsunami line that treated the alien as if it were from John Carpenter’s The Thing and that was awesome. The most modern incarnation of Venom utilizes him as a government super soldier, which is also cool. Really, the only uncool version of Venom is when he’s portrayed as a tiny little Spider-clone – if Webb goes that route, you can better your bottom, and top, dollar that I’m going to be past my boiling point.
I mean, why would you take a character that has a built-in fan base and then fundamentally alter it? That alienates the fan base. It makes no sense. The people you were counting on to show up and support the movie are now against you, rather than cheerleading for you to friends who maybe aren’t quite as obsessed.
Will Venom be in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Maybe. Maybe not. What form will he take? There’s no way of knowing, but if he does show up, let’s hope it’s the real thing.