'Venom' Will Be An R-Rated Sci-Fi Horror Movie

A couple of weeks back, it was revealed that Sony is developing a Venom movie scripted by Dante Harper (Alien: Covenant) and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach that won't feature Spider-Man himself. We are beginning to hear more details about the film, which reportedly will be an R-Rated science fiction horror movie.

My Entertainment World is claiming that the film will start shooting this fall, revealing that the project is in the genre of  "Action/Horror/Sci-fi."

Elsewhere, Collider has learned Sony is hoping for this film to launch their own Marvel Universe similar to what what Fox has been doing with their X-Men characters, and that Venom is being developed as an R-rated movie following the success of Deadpool and Logan. We've previously reported that Sony hired Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Chris Yost to write the script for Spider-Man characters Black Cat and Silver Sable, building on a previous script of Westworld co-showrunner Lisa Joy. In other words, they're really going all-in on Spider-Man characters.

It's a shame that Sony couldn't (or maybe didn't want to?) work out a deal with Disney to try to build their Spider-Man universe into something bigger, something that works within the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. But if it is true that Sony is developing Venom as an R-rated horror film, this shows that they're trying something different to differentiate their Marvel movies from what is being done at Disney. I think the biggest mistake Sony could make is to try to beat Disney at their own game when they need to be designing their own game entirely.

Of course, the MPAA doesn't rate a film until it's finished and right now Venom only exists as a screenplay. It's possible that, once a filmmaker comes on board, he could alter this vision. But with a 2018 release date in place, I wonder much much time they'll have for significant changes.

After the project was first announced a couple of weeks back, we were so unsure of what that movie would even look like. So we delved into the comic books for ideas of what a Venom movie might be. Alex Riviello theorized that we could see a movie similar to John Carpenter's The Thing:

Fans might not appreciate Sony going with the story from this 2003 18-issue Venom series. That's because it's one of those terribly comic book-y stories where it's eventually revealed that it wasn't the real Venom all along, but an imposter. Still, it's got what it takes to make a fun sci-fi/horror superhero flick, especially with the number of homages to classic movies it contains. That's obvious from the start, which kicks off in an arctic outpost that gets overrun by the symbiote. It's blatantly borrowing from John Carpenter's 1982 masterpiece, The Thing, but there are certainly far worse movies from which to derive inspiration! It even takes over a dog at one point. The symbiote goes from one host to the next, making the remaining survivors paranoid as it takes them all over. It eventually makes it to civilization (after a stop in Canada to mess with Wolverine, natch), finding Eddie Brock in NYC and forcing a two-way Venom fight. If they needed a standalone story, this could be it. While a couple of familiar superheroes show up, they really don't need any additional characters to tell this story. Plus, it could serve as an origin story if they so chose.

Venom will be released in theaters on October 5, 2018.