True Blood's Ryan Kwanten Stars In Spider-Man-Inspired Short Film Venom: Truth In Journalism

Producer Adi Shankar, who previously helped make the short film The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, has once again dipped back into the comic book world for his latest small project, this time plucking a fan-favorite character out of the Spider-Man universe. Above is a new short film from Shankar written and directed by Joe Lynch and starring True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, and as the title suggests, the story centers on the alien symbiote infected villain known as Venom.

The fan-made short - which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con and has nothing to do with Marc Webb's upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - appears to be set some time in the 1980s and centers on a French documentary crew that seems to be making a film about notorious journalist Eddie Brock (Kwanten). While the subject seems to think that the movie is meant to pet his ego, the crew is actually trying to get the real story behind why Brock was fired from the Daily Bugle - though the answer to their question may be hidden under a rock they don't want to turn over.

While I do understand what Sam Raimi was trying to do with Venom when he made Spider-Man 3 - trying to make the character a darker, more successful mirror version of Peter Parker - this is a much more faithful adaptation of the character from the comics. Everything from the cocksure attitude to the obsessive weight-lifting to the hatred of Spider-Man is there, and Kwanten is a surprisingly good fit for the role. Skipping to the end, it doesn't look too great from a visual effects perspective, but that's simply because a short like this is never going to have a feature film's budget.

It's also cool how Lynch sprinkled in plenty of little Easter Eggs for fans who know about Venom's origins. Not only was it cool to see copies of the Daily Bugle flashing on screen every once in a while, long-time fans of the comics should recognize the name "Emil Gregg" as the name of the compulsive confessor who fed Brock the false story about the killer known as Sin-Eather that ended up getting him fired from the newspaper (a mistake that he wound up blaming Spider-Man for).

Hit the comments to let us know what you think of the new short film and take a refresher course on Shankar's contributions to the comic book movie world with his Punisher short below.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.