Yesterday we learned that Sony - sick of seeing Marvel have all the fun with their precious Spider-Man, Fox have all the fun with their crazy R-rated superheroes, and Warner Brothers try super hard not to have fun with their stable of DC characters - decided it was time for them to get back in the game and grow a universe. Their answer? An R-rated Venom movie.
Venom is a divisive character, loved and hated in almost equal measure probably for the same thing: being an extreme figure who somewhat personifies the ‘90s comic era that birthed him (he actually premiered in 1988). Some people look at his color scheme and big tongue and think he’s cool, while others just shake their head at a world gone dumb.
From some artists, Venom does look pretty cool, but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten more than a surface feel for the character, indicating that looking cool is his whole deal (you can correct me in the comments). But even his ability to look cool isn’t certain - the one big screen version of him we’ve seen doesn’t exactly bode well.
But the bigger part of the news is Sony’s eagerness to make Venom an R-rated movie, obviously in response to the successes of Deadpool and Logan. The difference being that Deadpool and Logan both have very specific tones and ambitions which either require an R-rating in Deadpool’s case or use it more to establish a different version of a familiar world in Logan’s. In the very least, you can imagine the directors of these films arguing the need for an R-rating in terms of what they attempted to accomplish artistically.
There is no sense of that with Venom. The film has a writer in Alien: Covenant’s Dante Harper and will be produced by Avi And and Matt Tolmach, but it hardly feels like a single creative force is just dying to make this film. I don’t believe there’s a guy out there who has been waiting his whole life to make a Venom World movie or film a scene where Venom rips apart an entire strip club. Instead, the safe assumption is that Sony wants to cynically copy what Fox has done similar to the way Warner Bros. had tried to shortcut their way to achieving Marvel’s success.
So no, there is very little chance that this Venom movie will be any good. And you already knew that answer. Unless they get someone with a real vision and love for the character in there (maybe they could throw it back to Drew Goddard?), this’ll just be another Catwoman or Fantastic Four or any other lame superhero movie you can think of. Except with blood, swearing and maybe some boobs. On the other hand, if we’re going to have a Venom disaster, I suppose blood, swearing and boobs will at least help it be an interesting disaster.