Sony has been developing a Marvel Comics spin-off of the Spider-Man villain Venom for some time now, but I never actually believed it would happen. Screenwriting team Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese had written two drafts on the character before moving on to Zombieland. And before Wernick/Reese, the company had previously commissioned Jacob Estes (Mean Creek) to pen a take. It seemed like one of those projects that was just doomed to development heck. Apparently not…
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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has just passed $600 million at the worldwide box office, despite mostly really bad reviews. This is nothing new. Mainstream audiences don’t listen to the critics, and big screen spectacle will almost always win over quality entertainment. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing the movie, not all the bad reviews in the world. It’s an event movie — and I needed to see it for myself. It should be noted that box office should never be looked at as an indication of the mainstream public’s thoughts on a movie (it sold tons of tickets so the mainstream public must’ve loved it) but only an indication of the hype (and in later weeks, possibly word of mouth).
The success of Transformers 2 got me thinking. What is the worst reviewed box office success of all time? Could it be Revenge of the Fallen? Find out what I’ve uncovered after the jump.
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Sam Raimi has been doing press for his new horror film Drag Me To Hell, which means we’ve been getting some small updates on Spider-Man 4. The director says that he’s looking to prove himself after the well criticized Spider-Man 3 mistakes.
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Spider-Man 4 Trailer
The Pitch: College Humor created a trailer for Spider-Man 4 by mashing clips from the Spider-Man trilogy with Seabiscuit.
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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?
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.
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