The Neglected Nemeses: Venom
Last we heard, Sony Pictures still had plans to move forward with Venom film and had set their eyes on Chronicle director Josh Trank to helm the picture. Not much has been heard on this project in some time and there have been rumors that Marc Webb could be using Dane Dehaan’s Harry Osborn to portray Venom in his ongoing Spider-Man universe he seems to be creating. Regardless, at least we know that Sony still has the Venom character on their radar. We still don’t know how they will approach the potential film; if the character will be reintroduced in the rebooted Spidey-verse or if it will be a stand-alone film. One thing we do know is that the previous film version we were given was a disaster, as was the movie he was portrayed in. I still think there is loads of potential for this character on film and I think it needs to be attempted again.
The symbiotes were a race that had no feelings of their own. Instead, they would feed off the emotions of those they subdued and in order to feel the adrenaline rush they so enjoyed, they forced their hosts to achieve spectacular feats. Eventually, the symbiotes would use their host to a point they would become dry and useless and they would leave them for dead. When Spider-Man was taken to Battleworld by the Beyonder, his usual red and blue costume was torn to shreds and believing that he had found an alien clothing generator, he grabbed the small black ball, which instantly slithered all of his body,covering him from head to toe. The Web slinger was amazed by the capabilities of the new suit but never questioned the mechanics of the new suit, which also included it’s own we-shooter that seemingly never ran out of webbing.
Once Spider-Man returned to Earth, the symbiote couldn’t tolerate being away from its host and would attach itself at nights, forcing Parker out to fight evil or just go on a web-slinging adventure. While battling Puma, it was discovered that the webbing was an organic material, which drove Peter to talk with Reed Richards and have him examine the suit. Richards determined that the suit was actually a living parasite attempting to graft itself to Parker’s mind and body. Richards succeeded in separating the alien from Parker and contained it in an environmental cell. However, the symbiote was much smarter than anyone had anticipated and it escaped, finding its way back to the home of Parker, where is disguised itself as a spare red and blue suit. Unknowingly, Parker donned the suit and the parasite instantly reattached itself to its former host. Hoping that the pealing bells of the Our Lady of Saints church would destroy the alien, he headed to the bell tower, but Peter succumbed to the bells before the alien. However, because the symbiote had fed off the emotions of Parker for so long, it had learned to feel, and therefore how to act. The symbiote then sacrificed itself and saved Parker, who had assumed the alien had crawled off to die. In actuality, the weakened and nearly dead parasite had slithered to the main level of the church where Eddie Brock knelt in prayer, asking for forgiveness for considering suicide.
Brock was a successful writer at the newly revived Daily Globe, where he was writing a series of stories about the “Sin-Eater” murders. A fake offender had been confessed to Brock about committing the murders, but never revealed the offender’s name. But mounting pressure from authorities forced him to reveal the name and the paper sold out. However, Spider-Man soon revealed the “offender” to be Detective Stan Carter, which made Brock a laughing stock. He was soon fired from the Daily Globe and was forced to write for lower-level papers for money. Soon after, his wife left him and he figured his life was over and Spider-Man was to blame. He began an intense work out program as an out for the intense anger that was building inside him, but it only served to intensify the violent anger within. His body had been transformed to it’s pique condition, but his mind had been reduced to a haven for hatred and it was this that attracted the alien symbiote to attach itself to its new host.
The symbiote joined mentally and physically with Brock, whose emotions overwhelmed the already confused alien. The dominant thought on both their minds was that of Spider-Man. But Brock’s sheer hatred for the crime fighter twisted the symbiote’s feelings to a similar extent. In effect, Brock’s emotions drove the symbiote insane, just as their bonding may have driven Brock over the edge.
Brock quickly learned that the parasite gave him all the powers of Spider-Man, and then some. Along with that, it added bulk to his already massive stature and added super-strength to his increasing arsenal of weapons. He opted to call himself “Venom” and he forced the symbiote to create a hideous grin and began plotting to take the Web-Slinger down. Through the symbiote, Brock learned many things about his new enemy, including his identity. Brock began his assault by taunting Spider-Man via minor altercations, including pushing him in front of a moving subway train. Venom was able to cancel out the hero’s “Spidey Sense” by projecting conflicting frequencies at the brain waves of the wall-crawler. After many of these smaller spats, Venom went for the heart and confronted Parker’s wife, Mary Jane. While the twisted sense of morality of the symbiote did not allow him to harm the damsel, Parker quickly realized the seriousness of the threat Venom proposed. Parker retrieved a sonic blaster from the Fantastic Four, and went off to confront Venom at the Our Lady of Saints church, where their adventure first began. But, the blaster had no effect on Venom, as the symbiote had fully bonded with its host. Parker attempted to escape and rethink his options, but was caught unawares by Venom, who attached the hero to the inside of the church bell using a large amount of webbing. But Parker barely escaped the bell’s clapper, defeating Venom by forcing him to deplete his webbing supply, which the symbiote was composed of. Before Venom could regenerate itself enough to pose a threat again, Spider-Man took the villain to the Fantastic Four, who imprisoned Venom in a sonic prison cell and was then shipped to the government super-prison in the Rockies known as the Vault.
Having deceived a prison guard, and killing him, Venom escaped the Vault and returned to New York City where he once again confronted Spider-Man. This time, Spidey used psychological warfare on his opponent, by trying to coerce the parasite to detach itself from Brock and return to its original host. The alien, being torn by its continuous love-hate relationship with Parker, attempted to detach itself from Brock and return to Spider-Man. But the attempt was too much to bear for the parasite and both the alien and Brock were rendered unconscious and returned to the Vault. After many years of combating, Venom eventually reached an understanding with Spider-Man. Later on, Venom had to join forces with his usual foe, Spider-Man, in order to take down and even more powerful and rage filled symbiote in the form of Carnage.
And this, my friends, is where a Venom film needs to occur. When it was announced not long ago that Sony was indeed moving forward with a Venom spin-off, most fans, myself included, felt that the only way for it to happen was to have Venom reintroduced into the new Spider-Man universe, where a relationship between Spider-Man and Venom could be built up and explored. At that time, allow Venom to receive his own film, with Carnage as the rogue. Most of the film could center around Venom trying to subdue the powerful symbiote, only having to resort to asking Spider-Man for help, resulting in a massive, hopefully violent, climactic battle. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail as to why Venom needs to be in another film (or two), but let me reiterate that Sony did the character a huge disservice by adding him into Spider-Man 3, which resulted in having them reboot the series way too early. The character needs to be reintroduced and given his testicular fortitude back.
With Venom, I wanted to choose an actor that has some similarities to The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield; an actor that could add bulk and size, but without ending up looking like Lou Ferrigno. I landed on Garrett Hedlund, who starred in Disney’s Tron: Legacy. While that wasn’t his strongest performance, he has shown himself to be a capable actor. Need proof of that? Take a look at Death Sentence where he starred opposite Kevin Bacon. He was incredible in that film and it showed his dark side, which is needed for a character like this. He also had a stand-out performance in the popular Four Brothers along side Mark Wahlberg. Not to mention, he’s a hell of a lot better than Topher “I Need to Eat a Sandwich” Grace, who portrayed Venom/Eddie Brock in the almost laughable Spider-Man 3.