Why Sam Raimi Wanted Venom To Stay Out Of The Movies

Everyone has a lot of thoughts about "Spider-Man 3," which is universally accepted (by Sam Raimi, too) as the weakest entry in the superhero trilogy. It was overstuffed with too many subplots, one emo Peter Parker, and a few villains treated as sideshows. One of those villains in question, of course, is Topher Grace's Venom (Eddie Brock), a character that demanded a movie of his own.

Venom made his silver screen debut in the 2007 film, but its execution was rather flawed. Now "Spider-Man 3" wasn't easy to make. Raimi faced immense pressure after making his sequel, the faultless "Spider-Man 2." The story was intelligent, the villain was well-developed, and more than anything, it was true to Spider-Man and everything he stood for. It is one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.

Raimi's approach throughout his "Spider-Man" trilogy was to explore his favorite villains from the comics — Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and later, Sandman. Venom, however, was disliked by Raimi. He didn't particularly like the "lack of humanity" represented by Venom, but was forced to include him in the film after Avi Arad, the president of Marvel Studios at the time, encouraged him to.

For The Fans

While Raimi was focused on exploring stories that featured his favorite villains, Avi Arad reminded him that he wasn't paying enough attention to the fans. Spidey enthusiasts love Venom, and Arad thought Raimi needed to listen to what the fans wanted.

In an interview with Collider in 2007, Raimi explained that he had completed writing the script with his brother, when Arad voiced his concerns. It was only then that Raimi decided to dive deeper into the Spider-Man universe and vowed to learn more about Venom so he could make fans happy.

"But when we were done [writing the script], Avi Arad, my partner and the former president of Marvel at the time, said to me, Sam, you're so, you're not paying attention to the fans enough. You need to think about them. You've made two movies now with your favorite villains, and now you're about to make another one with your favorite villains. The fans love Venom, he is the fan favorite. All Spider-Man readers love Venom, and even though you came from '70s Spiderman, this is what the kids are thinking about. Please incorporate Venom, listen to the fans now. And so that's really where I, I realized okay, maybe I don't have the whole Spider-Man universe in my head, I need to learn a little bit more about Spider-Man and maybe incorporate this villain to make some of the real diehard fans of Spider-Man finally happy."

Unfortunately, Raimi's disconnect with Venom was reflected in the movie. Eddie Brock's scenes were quite weak, and the character was outshined by the emotional depth represented by Sandman's (Thomas Haden Church) story arc, and the built-up tension between Peter Parker and New Goblin (James Franco), which fans had seen evolve over two films. Venom's storyline appeared to have been rushed, and he wasn't given the time or material to connect with those watching.

He Wanted To Deliver Venom In The Best Way Possible

When Sam Raimi was asked if he ever desired to extend Venom's symbiote storyline in the film, because of how massive he was in the comic books, the filmmaker had an honest response.

He only wished to deliver Venom in a thorough manner, even if the character would only exist in one act of the movie. Raimi recognized that fans didn't want to be teased — they wanted to see what Venom was about, his origin story, and his relationship with Spider-Man. He did his best, but he also knew that extending Venom's story in the film would be unfair to fans of Spider-Man.

"I thought it would be unfair to — the Venom storyline, unfortunately, has Eddie Brock — the establishment of who he is and what he is — the symbiote coming to Peter Parker first and you've got to go through his entire getting of the black suit, the dark Peter, the ridding of the black suit, before it even comes on to Eddie Brock. So the very nature of that story demands that you either do it two part, if you want to spend more time with Venom, which I didn't think was fair to the audience, to the fans of Spider-Man. I thought about it, I really did, and I kept reading the fans' emails that Avi would send me saying they'd better not just introduce him to tease us, that would be — I felt that the fans didn't want that from the thousands of emails that were sent me. So I thought okay, they want — cuz I tried to do that, and Avi said 'you're not giving me what I asked you' he said they want Venom, just give them Venom already. So, I said okay, but obviously, through the very nature of it, he's only going to be in half an act or one act. I'll just make it as thorough and the best that I can, deliver Venom in the most complete way that I understand the fans might want him. That was my desire. I was led there."

After "Spider-Man 3," it seemed like a fourth movie was a no-brainer. But the film was canceled because Raimi wasn't happy with how the project was turning up, and couldn't go ahead with a script he was pleased with. Along with Sony, Raimi finally decided it was best to abandon the film, despite the many requests from fans for the filmmaker to extend the "Spider-Man" trilogy.

It's impossible to imagine how "Spider-Man 4" could have changed the superhero genre as we know it. Would the films ever be rebooted? Would there be multiple Spider-Men in the movie? Could Raimi have introduced Rhino? We'll never know what could've happened, but at least we can take comfort in knowing that Raimi is about to make a lot, and I mean, a lot of fans smile, with his iteration of Doctor Strange.