Once upon a time, Zombieland scriptwriters Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese were working on a screenplay for a Venom movie, spinning off the character alongside Sony’s main Spider-Man series. Then director Gary Ross became involved, before getting on board with the Hunger Games series for what looks to be three, quickly produced pictures, more or less back to back, taking him off the market for years. Somewhere in all of this Jacob Estes wrote another draft.
All of these came to nothing.
But work on Venom continues, with new creatives, and new story ideas.
The latest director to be drawn in is Josh Trank, who made his feature debut just last month with Chronicle. A secret source (sssshhhhh) has told The LA Times that Trank is currently in negotiation with Sony for the gig. I can see why they’d want him – Chronicle was actually rather good indeed.
Trank has also been said to be 20th Century Fox’s top choice to direct their Fantastic Four do-over. When I saw him on the Chronicle press rounds he couldn’t deny that he was being sought for that gig, though did want to downplay the chances of his actually taking it.
Unsurprisingly, these new efforts to mount a Venom pic are said to be fully distinct from Spider-Man 3, with Topher Grace “not expected to reprise the role.” What I’d want to drill into, however, is the possibility that Sony might set it in the same universe as their Andrew Garfield-starring Amazing Spider-Man. In fact, could they possibly even be building up a few spin-offs from Spidey, getting ready for their own, rights-restricted, scaled down cross-over in the vein of The Avengers?
I wouldn’t put it past them.