So yeah, I was kind of harsh on Todd McFarlane when he was talking to MTV about doing his own “Spawn 2” movie a while back, but I gotta admit, after hearing him talk about the upcoming “Venom” movie by Sony, and how it’s got problems, I gotta agree with the dude. McFarlane, who created the character Venom for the comic books during his run on Spider-Man, makes some good points, including the fact that it’ll be a little hard to root for a bad guy that has been, traditionally, one evil and scary SOB. I’ve read some of the current crop of comics where Venom is a sorta good guy, and it just feels … weird.
Anyways, some highlights from McFarlane’s talk with Newsarama:
“You don’t want to scare the kids, because the kids love the character,” McFarlane said of Venom, echoing the sentiment of those in Hollywood who maintain superhero movies must be PG or PG-13 to succeed because they need young audiences. “But I think you could add a little bit of a creep factor. I mean, it never bugged me to watch Frankenstein as a kid, so you could have a little bit of it, as long as you have a good story backing it up.”
But even if the new Venom is “creepier,” the artist questioned the idea of a villain being the center character of a Spider-Man spin-off. “I’m thinking about how they want to make anti-heroes nowadays,” he said, using the Halle Berry Catwoman film as an example. “Those don’t work. The reason they’re so cool as a bad guy is because they’re bad. And as soon as you try to give too much humanity to them, then you go, no! Now they’re not as good as a bad guy because you’re trying to redeem them.”
He said that although “smart people can make things happen in other ways,” he doesn’t think Venom can make an audience care about him if he’s still a villain. McFarlane said that Don Corleone and the Sopranos are examples of characters who were able to entice viewer sympathy despite their villainy, “but they were human. Can you bring that mentality to Venom and make it work? Or do you make him all bad?
I never really understood why Sony was so keen to spin-off Venom. He wasn’t even the best thing about “Spider-Man 3”. I would have to give that to The Sandman. Was there some test audience that told Sony they really dug Venom? Cause the movie sure didn’t seem to bear that out…
I mean, look at this guy (below). Does this look like a PG-13 superhero to you?