Recently, news dropped that Sony will be rekindling its plans on doing a solo Venom movie. If you want to be briefed on this you can visit the Movie Pilot article to catch up.
What I would like to propose are 10 steps for Sony to follow, that I believe would help make the Spider-Man movie franchise a success.
Step 1: No more origin stories for Spider-Man.
Spider-Man's origin story is probably just as well-known as Superman or even Batman's origins. I think it's safe to say that we don't need to waste 30-40 mins of film seeing Peter Parker be a bullied nerd in school or being bitten by a radioactive spider. At the very most, a brief flashback or two will suffice.
Step 2: Make Venom the next villain.
I think that with any comic book movie, its success will be measured by how great the villain is or is not. For instance, The Dark Knight was excellent with a great Joker villain (played by Heath Ledger), while Marvel's Age of Ultron was a disappointment with a lackluster Ultron.
Spider-Man has a unique array of villains and of them Venom is one of the best. I think that before any solo Venom films are made, making Venom a top villain against Spider-Man first would help develop the character so much more. Jumping right into a solo Venom movie, with no Spider-Man, may hurt more than help.
Step 3: Make Normon Osborn /Green Goblin be a mastermind villain.
This is simply a formula that has seemed to work, especially with Marvel's Thanos in their cinematic universe. It would be interesting to see Osborn's influence as the main cause of so much of Spider-Man's pain and suffering over the course of the franchise. That, to me, is a much better option rather than just throwing a bunch of filler villains like Rhino, Vulture or others who really won’t add much value to the cinematic audience.
Step 4: After Spider-Man Vs Venom, then do a solo Venom (anti-hero) movie
As mentioned before, I think you have to develop Venom first. I don’t think you can make someone an anti-hero by just giving him his own movie. You have to show the stark contrast with the main hero first. When we see Venom’s dark side (against Spider-Man) then we can begin to appreciate his character’s development into an anti-hero. I believe this is what worked in the comics and it would also work just as well in the movies.
Step 5: Tease Carnage with end credit scene of the Venom solo film.
Carnage is one of the only comic characters that comes to mind that could potentially be more psychotic and evil than the Joker from the Batman series. If Sony really wants to raise the stakes and push the envelope, then Carnage is the one way ticket for them to surpass the other studios.
Step 6: The Following Spider-Man film: Maximum Carnage Part 1 & 2.
If anyone has ever read the Carnage stories, I’d say it was probably up there with notable comic series like the Death of Superman or even Death in the Family (Batman). Breaking this up in two parts helps in two ways for Sony. First way is that it gives you two movies for the price of one to help pump up the numbers. Second way is that it will also give an adequate amount of time to flesh out the story. Maximum Carnage pt 1 could have Venom and Carnage fighting against Spider-Man.
Towards the end you throw in a twist where Carnage double crosses Venom taking both Venom and Spider-Man down. End the movie there, and you can’t tell me people wouldn’t want to see what happens in the 2nd part.
Step 7: Maximum Carnage pt 2 has Venom team w/ Spider-Man.
This would be a great way to have the hero and anti-hero put their differences to the side to fight the greater evil. With Carnage so out of control, you give Venom even more reason to be an anti-hero only due to the necessity of Carnage being that much more of a threat. The comics give just enough for this angle to work, so there’s no need to go into further detail.
Step 8: Maximum Carnage ideally should be Rated R.
No, this isn’t a knee jerk reaction to Deadpool’s success being a rated R comic book movie. This is a call to being true to the FEEL of the source material. We know that comic book movies can’t always be word for word exact iterations of the comics. But what we do know is that the films should still stay true to the essence of the source material. Anyone who knows anything about Carnage knows that the level of violence and mayhem he brings to the table can only call for a rated R rating.
I know this may be conflicting because studios love to make money by expanding their targeting audience, but I can assure you this would be a risk worth taking if executed properly. (Besides let’s not act like people aren’t going to still find a way to bring kids into these movies anyway. It happened a lot in the 3 Deadpool showings I attended.)
Step 9: End of Maximum Carnage and tie in all of the schemes of the Goblin.
There’s no point in hinting at a background villain if they never come to light. Somewhere towards the end we should start to see the dots being connected in how Goblin has been deviously plotting to get rid of Spider-Man. I suppose it could be something similar to how the end of Amazing Spider-Man 2 ended by teasing the formation of the Sinister 6.
Step 10: Introduce Sinister 6 (solo movie)
I suspect that with the potential success of the Suicide Squad, it will be perfectly reasonable to bring forth a Sinister 6 film. Granted, I have my own doubts about doing such a film; I do think that there’s room for it to be successful with the right cast, characters, director and writers of course.