Will Sony Emulate Marvel's Strategy And Tie 'Venom' To 'The Amazing Spider-Man' And Other Films?

Some people and a few studio execs (I guess some of them are people, too) scoffed as Marvel Studios began to build a franchise of films that would lead up to The Avengers. The team movie was ambitious, and the result of so much planning that it was easy to suspect it would fail. We know now, of course, that The Avengers did anything but fail — it is one of the most financially successful films ever released.

That means other studios are now quite willing to consider emulating Marvel's strategy. Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment haven't laid the groundwork for a team film in the same way Marvel did, but they're trying it with Justice League anyway.

And Sony has the rights to some Marvel characters, notably the Spider-Man and Ghost Rider families. And it seems like the character spin-off Venom, which Chronicle director Josh Trank may make, could be designed to fit in with the new wave of Spider-Man movies that begins with The Amazing Spider-Man. Question is... to build up to what?

Hollywood.com talked to The Amazing Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach, who said Venom is being developed with connectivity in mind.

What I'm trying to say to you without giving anything away is hopefully all these worlds will live together in peace someday...Look for the worlds to make sense with one another.

Avi Arad explained what they're trying to do with Venom, in basic terms:

It's an Eddie Brock story. We want to be as close to the comics as possible. Especially in Eddie Brock's story. But again, pseudo-sceince is becoming science. All these tidbits about webs, artificial webs, is a huge industry now. Spiderwebs have unique qualities that will be huge for communications, fibers, and so forth. So we have taken the approach that we want to make the huge amazing movie about Eddie.

The Brock character was played in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 by Topher Grace, but this will be a new take, presumably with a new actor. Brock will be "a journalist. He had the wrong story, he got in trouble for it, he got fired," explains Tolmach.

Making the films play nice together makes sense, but now the question will be: can we expect a Ghost Rider reboot that places that character in the same universe? In general, is it reasonable to expect that any Marvel characters held by Sony will get films that are connected in at least some vague way? Sony can't quite make The Avengers, but it could build up to something like the old Marvel Team-Up comic series...