Now that the confusion over the non-Spider-Man Venom movie has been cleared up by Sony, where it won’t exist in the MCU and thus have no connection to Spider-Man, we can clearly see how the movie is dead on arrival. Not because Tom Hardy will make a poor Venom, but because of a fundamental failure to understand why Venom was a great Spider-Man villain.
Everyone knows how in the comics Spider-Man finds an alien symbiote who tries to meld with him. How he finds the symbiote doesn’t really matter, and Raimi’s origin was fine in that regard. The original Secret Wars was just an action-figure tie-in so that angle isn’t needed for Venom’s origin.
But Spider-Man absolutely is.
In the comics, Venom became one of Spider-Man’s best villains in the 90s because of his origin being literally spawned off the back of Spidey. Because the symbiote was part of Spider-Man, Venom became immune to Spider-Sense. That means that Venom was pretty much the only threat who could sneak up on Spider-Man from behind. It made him truly lethal and it was one of he best elements of the character.
Without a connection to Spider-Man you lose that, and you basically get a superhero version of Sony’s recent scifi movie Life. It isn’t really “Venom”. It’s Venom-in-name-only. And it’s a shame as Marvel is doing some cool things with Venom in the comics right now, returning Eddie Brock to the role and a big “Venomverse” event similar to the recent Spiderverse.
If Sony were smart they’d be patient and wait for Marvel to want to use Venom in the MCU. Then we could get Spider-Man in the story and have something that makes up for Spider-Man 3. As it stands right now, we’ll probably be fondly looking back on Spider-Man 3 by the time Sony’s Venom movie hits theaters in 2018…