With Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” looking to kick-start a Spidey resurgence this summer, the studio is taking a crack at another character associated with the superhero: Venom.
The studio is negotiating with Josh Trank, the hot director of this winter’s found-footage hit “Chronicle,” to take the reins of the Spidey spin-off, said a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly. Sony was not immediately available for comment.
The film would center on the gooey villain who was a mainstay of the Marvel comics and was a nemesis, incarnated by Topher Grace, in the third “Spider-Man” picture in 2007. (The character attaches himself to a human host and becomes as powerful as the web-slinging superhero.)
A Venom film has been long-gestating at the studio, dating back at least to 2008 and preceding plans for this summer’s Marc Webb-Andrew Garfield take on the character. Gary Ross negotiated to direct a Venom film back in 2009 but moved on to other projects, including the upcoming “Hunger Games.”
Jacob Estes (“The Details”) wrote a draft of a “Venom” script several years ago, but producers are seeking a new writer, said the source. (The Ross version was to craft Venom as less a villain than an antihero.) The film also would be seeking a new actor; Grace is not expected to reprise the role.
With “Venom,” the 27-year-old Trank would not only return to superhero territory but would also bring a flair for shoe-leather storytelling that resonates with audiences: Despite an absence of stars as well as a modest budget, “Chronicle” has grossed more than $60 million since coming out last month.