Intriguing: Gary Ross Will Do Spielberg Cast-Off Matt Helm Next, Not Venom

Two stories are coming together here. Not too long ago we told you about Matt Helm, the project that Steven Spielberg wanted to direct before he signed on to Harvey. Then just a week ago we told you about Gary 'Seabiscuit' Ross taking on the Spider-Man spin-off Venom for Sony. Now it looks like things are being shuffled around once again, as some insider info pegs Ross as the director of Matt Helm, and that he'll do that before Venom.

The Playlist got the exclusive from a source they say is close to Ross. That source says Venom could still happen, but is "a ways off and will have to wait" while Ross does Matt Helm. The claim is that Helm is being scheduled for a summer 2010 shoot if things go according to plan. Granted, when we heard about Ross taking on Venom (he's also doing a Spidey 4 rewrite, remember, so not a stretch) it was an in-talks situation, so things weren't totally set in stone. And if this is correct (and I don't doubt it, as The Playlist sources their stuff well) then that deal was more fluid than we assumed.

I'm perfectly happy with this. I can see Ross doing well with an action-adventure film like Matt Helm more easily than I can with a much more CGI-heavy picture like Venom. Though, in truth, I'm sure Matt Helm will have to be madly CGI'd as well, so that might be moot. More to the point, I'd rather see the adventure movie. Let Venom dangle for a while; it's not a film that is so promising, especially if Sony is going the 'Defender of the Innocent' angle as we've heard. We've got plenty of comic-book movies right now; let's have another pulpy counter-agent tale going before we add Venom to the deck.