Listening to Spider-Man movie producer Matt Tolmach tell it, the way they’re planning for future films and spin-offs makes perfect sense.
Here’s a quote from Tolmach speaking to SFX:
We realised it would be really good in terms of storytelling to have a grand scheme for where and how these stories grow out of the centrepiece, which is always Spider-Man… our jobs remain the same in terms of having to produce and direct the movies but it’s like putting together an all-star team – why not have the best players there all the time? So that was kind of a breakthrough idea that we’re just now really tapping into.
A Brains Trust, much like the Pixar one we were discussing again earlier.
This team includes Alex Kurtzman, Bob Orci and Jeff Pinkner, the screenwriters of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Drew Goddard, who will be writing and directing the Sinister Six movie.
Some real talent there, but they do have a hell of a task ahead of them.
Because this is Hollywood. And while Sony have announced these films centring on villains from the Spider-Man universe, we’d be foolish to think they’ll actually be allowed to act like villains, not across the board. These films are going to have protagonists on the side of good, like pretty much every other studio movie in the last couple or few decades, and certainly all of the expensive, SFX-laden ones.
Tolmach talked a little about fitting the Sinister Six into a traditional Hollywood paradigm:
Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at. At the same time it’s an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun… nobody’s all good, nobody’s all bad, and so where we end up with that story, I think, is a really awesome challenge, and we all smile when we think about what you can do.
That’s relatively ambiguous, for now. Avi Arad, however, was much more clear about how the Venom movie was going to work:
Venom hated only one guy – Spider-Man. He wasn’t innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. That’s the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called ‘lethal defender of the innocent’. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with… a man like him is going to realise there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say ‘How did I get here? There must be a better way.’
The redemption of Venom? Well, it certainly sounds like it.
I’m not at all surprised by the decision to approach these characters in this way. What’s good for The Godfather trilogy probably isn’t great for selling lunchboxes and pyjamas.
I’m not disappointed, either. I think it’s maybe a little less ambitious than it might have been, and we’re – yet again – being denied a different perspective, but if the films turn out well, I could really care less. Is there a good story to tell about Venom having a crisis of faith or change of heart? Sure there is. I just hope Alex Kurtzman, who is directing the film, and his Brain Trust of collaborators can find it.