With a shiny new Spider-Man movie on the way this summer, Sony's method of cleaning up the mess of Spider-Man 3 has thus far been to just sweep it under a Spidey suit with running shoe feet and hope no one remembers. But all along, the studio has been well aware there's a still-wet slop pile of black, CGI muck remaining underneath those sneakers, and now it's time to put it to use with a new Venom film.
According to the L.A. Times, the studio is in talks with Josh Trank to take the director's seat on a new attempt at realizing Spider-Man's most cunnilingus joke-prone villain, Venom, in his own film. Trank is coming off the success of Chronicle, his found-footage superhero film that made quite a lot of money for very little money, which makes him pretty appealing from the perspective of wanting some of that easy money. Earlier this year, 20th Century Fox similarly approached Trank to tackle one of their superhero franchises, The Fantastic Four. Sony now really hopes the reason for that not working out is that Trank was holding out for a divisive, late '80s comic book character.
Plans to develop a Venom franchise date back to just after Spider-Man 3 introduced the character as Topher Grace with prop teeth, and Hunger Games director Gary Ross was attached to the project for a time in 2009. But it's sort of confusing why Sony would choose now to relaunch the spin-off, when a new Spider-Man film--that, by all accounts, does not involve Venom--is attempting to re-write the Spidey history with fluffier hair.
Whether the studio is aware of it or not, it's Venom's origin is more than a little bit dependent on Spider-Man. As you/Sony know through having hypothetically bothered watching Spider-Man 3, the inky, alien goo that makes up the character is first meant to attach itself to Peter Parker, only later transferring to a foe who hates Spider-Man so much that the symbiote and host merge to become a deformed analog of the superhero--a Spider-Man who is big, and black, and with a wacky tongue and teeth so it doesn't become a racial thing. To introduce him in tandem with a new, thus far Venom-less Spider-Man franchise doesn't really make any sense. You can't just introduce the evil doppelgänger by himself. Negaduck can't have his own series until he's fought Darkwing, you know?
Still, Sony apparently plans to do this, and judging by their choice of director, they're probably looking to do it on the cheap. With Trank at the helm, the entire Venom movie may well be "found" on Peter Parker's digital SLR. We can only hope the studio feels generous enough to spring for the costume's forsaken gloves.