With Amazing Spider-man 4 booked for May 7, 2018 and the Sinister Six and Venom spin-offs planned out before that, a lot of questions are swirling about what to actually expect. It's rather understandable. A venture of this scope hasn't really been attempted in the Comic Cinematic Universes...EVER! A movie about the 'bad guy' is unheard of, right?
But the producers of Amazing Spider-man 2 have something unique and, for the most part, completely unexplored for possible themes of their 'villain' movies!
First off, when asked about what other heroes they were able to draw on, they were rather direct.
Producer Matt Tolmach
If you look for example at Venom, I think knee-jerk people thing, ‘Venom! A villain!’ Really? Venom is a character who has this innate sense of goodness and justice, so there are lots of characters who can be a little bit of both. So, when you start talking about a Sinister Six movie, is it just going to be all bad guys? No. There’s complexity to all of them, and that’s part of the fun we’re having right now as we’re building it. Some characters are way worse – badder – than others. There’s a lot you can do. There are some guys who are redeemable, and some who are really horrible.
And he's completely right. Marvel did market Venom as a dark hero; an anti-hero back in the 80s and 90s.
The comics blurred the lines between whether Venom was a converted villain or a anti-hero with violent tendencies. Of course, his obsession with Spider-man is always the forefront of his motives. But, besides that, at times, he did some rather heroic things. So, obviously, the VENOM stand alone could star Eddie Brock as a dark hero. But what about the Sinister Six? None of them have ever been heroes.
Now, to be honest, that is the magic of the Marvel formula from way back. When the magic began back in the 60s, Stan Lee and the Mighty Marvel Bullpen changed the way we look at villains. Instead of some random guy in a suit doing crimes that fit his theme, we got sympathetic baddies with motives that made us think. Marvel blurred the lines. They were real quick to show that everybody has a light AND dark side. Some heroes can do dark things. Just check out the 80s and the anti-hero epidemic and you'll get a massive catalog of such characters. But they were the first to make us stop and realize that all 'bad guys' weren't all bad. The Producers used such words as 'flawed' and 'tragic' to described the villains.
Matt Tolmach: “There’s no such thing as just a villain. There are villains by virtue of choices that people make but they always begin as humans, as characters. As flawed people; as tragic people. You know great movies have been made about a bunch of bad guys who get together to do something… Yeah, I mean, there’s a huge tradition of it. Those are sometimes the greatest characters to watch. A bunch of broken people coming together for whatever reason.”
Avi Arad: “And everybody’s looking for redemption; they’re unforgiven. Would you see one of the [Sinister Six](movie:1274281) starting to feel like that? Yes. And people love it, by the way. They love when a villain finds his way back because we’re all very forgiving.”
I think Wolverine is the biggest character in the Marvel universe that did BAD things and found some sort of redemption. But what Tolmach and Arad are suggesting is grounds breaking. What they are hinting solidly at is that a movie about a pack of villains at different levels of 'badness' with their own personal motives and vendettas who will probably end up at odds with one another due to the limits of how far some of them are willing or unwilling to go. Who will break rank? How will that play out? Well, that's the fun, now isn't it?
And will Spidey show up?
Matt Tolmach: We’ll see. That would be an enormous spoiler I cannot give you. I’ll just say that anything is possible. That’s the fun of that, and that is what you see in some of those Marvel movies. Once you sort of decide to open up the universe, the rules go out of the window and you get to have fun. So, without actually answering the question, we’ll see what happens!
That leaves only one question on my mind. With Venom as the hero of his own movie, who could possibly be the 'villain'? Could they be preparing to join the two projects as sequels of the other?
In a recent spot, this quicky pic of the vulture wings on the right and a black liquid being stored sent Spidey fans abuzz about the coming of Venom. On top of that, a blown-up screen shot revealed both Venom 'storage' and Morbius mentioned on a list of Oscorp confidential files. In fact there are TWO files for Venom storage! Is that a hint to more symbiote madness to come? Add that to the file on Ravenscroft and does it spell CARNAGE?
That leaves more questions than answers, True Believers. Will Venom start as a member of Oscorps Sinister SIx only to turn on them for MORAL reasons? And does the progression of the movies (Sinister Six-Venom-ASM3) suggest that, in the end, Venom and Spidey will join forces to take Oscorp and the remains of the Sinister Six down for good? Hmmm. Leaves us something to munch on, eh?
Uncle Excelsior! also contributes to JACKEDUPTALES.COM and Projects Playgorund