Sony is considering making a Spider-Man spin-off movie based on the popular villain Venom. The company had previously commissioned Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) to pen a take, but is now considering going in a completely different direction according to The Hollywood Reporter. They are seeking new writers for an entirely new draft, and are also supposedly looking at replacing Topher Grace, who played the role in Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man 3. Sony is still hoping to release a fourth Spider-Man film in 2011. Raimi confirmed at Comic Con that he is still waiting to read the script. Basically, Sony is looking to squeeze as much out of their deal with Marvel as they can.
Comic Book movies are hot again, and Marvel’s option of the film rights to Spider-Man also give Sony the ability to to produce spin-off films based on the characters in that universe. I think hiring someone other than Topher for the role is a smart move. They really need to do everything they can to differentiate the spin-off from the lackluster third film. When I was younger, and had more time to read comics, Venom was one of my favorites. But never once did I actually buy an issue of the Venom spin-off series, because I never thought it would be that interesting. And my thoughts are virtually the same on a Venom spin-off film. Venom is one of those baddies who is only as interesting as his opponent. And I’m pretty sure this project would be Spidey-free.
Discuss: Do you think that a Venom movie is a good idea? or bad idea?
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Today, a scoop is circulating via Cinematical that possibly spells the fate of the lucrative Spider-Man franchise. It was already known that screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Rundown) was working on the script for Spider-Man 4, but apparently he’s turned in a draft to Sony/Columbia that allows a Spider-Man 5 to be shot simultaneously. According to the “super delegate Hollywood insider” tipster…
“[Vanderbilt's] story arc has encompassed two films, making Spider-Man 5 shootable at the same time. The studio saw dollar signs and is in the process of reworking his deal to snatch up the story arc.”
Not much else was dished at this time, but if true, this is obviously a major development for the series. Would Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Raimi be up to shooting two Spidey flicks back to back? Only their bank accounts can probably answer that one, but in the meantime, what do you think the future holds as far as talent and continuation with the prior three flicks? More on this as it develops…
Discuss: After the busy and dizzying kitchen sink that was Spider-Man 3, is a juggling act with Spider-Man 4 and 5 the way to go?Â
For those who thought my asinine TWBB rant was insanely lowbrow, here’s a bit of high brow genre fare to level out the horror. Toasted author Michael Chabon‘s unused screenplay for Spider-Man 2 is now online over at McSweeney’s as a PDF. Grab it here, and do so quick because the site says it will only be up for a short duration. You may recall that Chabon received a writing credit on the second and top Spider-Man film, but his screenplay has never been made public until now. Good deal.
Discuss: Peter and I haven’t had a chance to read it, but if you’re playing hookie, don’t feel like working or simply don’t “get” the job thing, write a mini-review of the script in the comments! Appreciated.
A random news symbiote has infested the Nets today and, as Ned Ryerson would squeal, “it’s a doozy.” IESB reports that Marvel Studios is prepping a Venom spin-off and has already met with “several A-list writers.” Before you fire off the sirens to alert the strikers, you may recall that a bit ago Marvel cut a deal with the WGA. Apparently the superhero studio has retained the rights to the character, as he/it previously appeared last summer in Sony’s wobbly webbing cake that was Spider-Man 3, in the human form of Eddie Brock, played by actor Topher Grace. No word if Grace is still attached, and no word about Sam Raimi‘s involvement, but I’d guess he wouldn’t direct the flick as he has admitted in the past that Venom is not his type.
Obviously, this project comes as a surprise since Venom, when full-blown, is a villain with less social skills than a pet rock; and for many fanboys it’s a surprise as hotly anticipated as Critters Gone Wild, since Venom is cited as the largest flaw in Sam Raimi‘s second Spidey sequel. Personally, all of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies are as pleasurable to me as staring at the sun, though the second one has its moments. I just don’t dig their aesthetic and the “darkness”-arch and newfound maturity of the third one made the fourth Harry Potter look like Tropic of Cancer.
However, I’m not opposed to this film. Making a movie about an outer space ooze that turns a person into Spidey’s hulking Id is kinda chill. There is the potential to do a visually stunning and madcap movie with Venom, especially if Carnage is involved. Drop Grace for the sake of a fresh take, and hire, I dunno, a director-duo like Crank‘s Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor or even the Hughes Brothers to think outside the box while gunning for profitability and it’s a winner.
I’ve always wanted a pumpkin bomb…
The Green Goblin’s trademark destructive pumpkin bombs will make the perfect addition to any Spider-Man fan’s secret weapons cache! Based on the record-breaking Spider-Man 3, these signature explosives measure over 5-inches in diameter and feature a unique light-up design. Limited to 1,000 pieces and sculpted by Gentle Giant, each replica also features a display stand with an individually numbered base, box and certificate of authenticity as well as full care instructions for your new prop replica!
And it’s ONLY $129.99! Estimated Arrival: March 2008
Â In a summer full of big blockbuster movies, adaptations, sequels and threequels, you would think that Hollywood would have made some record scratch. Not so! According to the AP, attendance is running behind last summer’s and has even fallen below that of the summer of 2005. According to Media By Numbers, 279 million tickets had been sold thus far compared with 315 million at this same point in 2002.Â But this is not what was supposed to happen. Industry analysts predicted the first $4 billion summer in history,Â but we’re at the midway point and it’s not looking probable. As of this past weekend, Hollywood has made $1.9 billion since the first weekend in May. And $945 million of that number comes from just three movies (Pirates 3, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek the Third).
And there are a few biggies waiting in the bull pen: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, Rush Hour 3, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Simpsons Movie and Hairspray. But as you might notice, most of them are medium sized majors, not on the same level with a Spider-Man 3. Potter is likely to make $300 million domestically, but the rest probably won’t come close.
May-be the problem is that none of the huge releases really connected with the audiences. Most of the films resulted with bad reviews and bad word of mouth. And the good flicks (Ratatouille, Once, Sicko) got buried in the mix.
Spider-Man 3 has shattered almost all the records. According to estimates, the film took in over $148 million over it’s first weekend, beating Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($135.6 million), to become the biggest opening weekend of all time. Spidey grabbed the Friday record with $59.3 million, the saturday record with $51 million (besting Shrek 2), and if the Sunday estimate of $37.7 million is correct, it will also hold the record for biggest sunday gross of all time (again, beating Pirates 2).
Oh, but we’re not done. The film also opened on 84 IMAX screens and set a new opening weekend record with $4.8 million, besting 300 ($3.6 million).
And that’s just America. The film has already made over $227 million internationally (since May 1st), bringing the film’s grand total to $375 million!
But the fanboys are angry. It seems none of them liked the movie. Judging from the internet forums and talkbacks, you would think that everyone hated the film, but that’s clearly not true.
According to a studio survey, more than 50% of moviegoers sampled said “Spider-Man” was better than the first two films in the franchise. And the film is currently getting a very respectable 7.1 rating on the Internet Movie Database (with almost 20,000 votes thus far). And let me remind you that the first Spider-Man is getting a 7.4, so it’s not that far off.
FilmSchoolRejects has an interesting article chronicling the fanboy backlash. Although, I must warn you, they were extremely negative on the film so the article may be a little biased.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory screenwriter John August has a VERY INTERESTING article on the film’s problems from a writers perspective. One of the big things I harped on in my review was the “convenient coincidences”. August has turned this facet of the movie into a film school lesson that no aspiring screenwriter should miss.
Cinematical has an interesting article on how they could have made Spider-Man 3 better.
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As we suspected yesterday, Sony is reporting that Spider-Man 3 took in $59 million in its opening day alone. This breaks the record for the biggest opening day of all time. Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest previously held the record with $55.8 million.
Spider-Man 3 is also on track to overtake Dead Man‘s biggest opening weekend of all time record of $135.6 million. The third Spidey film will now end the weekend somewhere in the ballbark of $138 to $145 million, which is just enough to beat the record.
Spider-Man 2 made $40 million on it’s opening day, and the original Spider-Man took in $43.6 million. We will have more accurate estimates on Sunday.