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Building the Amazing Spider-Man universe is Sony’s challenge, a response to Marvel’s continuity-based franchises over at Disney. But can it work? The focus would be on villains, which are not always the most exciting characters, or the most likable. Especially when it comes to Spider-Man villains: Spidey’s got a deep bench of rogues, but they tend to be pretty one-dimensional baddies, colorful on the page, but not so much on the screen. There’s a reason The Amazing Sspider-Man 2 is going back to the Green Goblin so soon.
SFX recently spoke to the producers of the series and inquired about the status of The Sinister Six and Venom, and what their relationship is with the other Spidey movies. Speaking of this challenge, producer Matt Tolmach says:
"It’s a challenge in every sense. Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at. At the same time it’s an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun. People love those bad characters if they’re good bad characters, and love to watch them. And nobody’s all good, nobody’s all bad, and so where we end up with that story, I think, is a really awesome challenge, and we all smile when we think about what you can do. It’s definitely a bad-ass group of people and I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to watch them.
Meanwhile, former Marvel head Avi Arad, who still produces the Spider-Man films, elaborated a bit on Venom, while confirming that plans for the character aren’t totally in place yet.
"Venom hated only one guy – Spider-Man. He wasn’t innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. That’s the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called ‘lethal defender of the innocent’. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with. Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesn’t matter who is going to be inside the suit – what’s important is that a man like him is going to realize there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say ‘How did I get here? There must be a better way.’"
What we can gather from this quote is two uncertainties. One is that they don’t have a story for this film yet, particularly because Arad is waxing on about Venom helping the homeless. Yeah, that’s what the people wanna see. The other issue is that they haven’t decided who Venom will be. In the comics the symbiote took over a number of different characters, famously starting with Eddie Brock. Peter Parker’s bully-turned-friend Flash Thompson currently wears the suit in the comics: Chris Zylka currently plays Thompson in the current films: could he find himself suiting up as the character, particularly since we already saw Topher Grace play Brock in Spider-Man 3?
There’s also a rumor floating online regarding a morbid end credits scene from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a related image which Sony requested be removed from the internet. MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR LE SPIDER-MAN COMING UP, YOU’VE BEEN LE WARNED. Originating from a Reddit user, but confirmed by Comic Book Movie, this ending finds (FOR SERIOUS, SPOILER PHOBES, IT’S YOUR FAULT IF YOU READ THIS) Norman Osborn succumbing to his fatal condition, a condition that could have been healed with an extract from Spider-Man’s blood. Man, this new Spider-Man’s a jerk, isn’t he? But after the credits, the still-unknown gentleman played by Michael Masse in the first film’s post-credits sequence re-emerges. And he walks up to Norman’s cryogenically frozen (disembodied?) head and saying, "Wake up, old friend."
Continuing with the spoiler talk, we still don’t know who this guy is. The guy clearly teleported at the end of the first film. But a cursory scan of Spider-Man’s villains associated with OsCorp in the comics brings up no theories. Is he basically the Thanos of the Spider-Man universe? When is Spidey gonna meet this guy? And why couldn’t the villains just ask Spider-Man for some of his blood to save a dying old man?
Anyway, like all rumors, treat it with a grain of salt, especially considering how much The Amazing Spider-Man reportedly changed from early production to its release.