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Chronicle Director Josh Trank to Develop Venom Spin-off?

Sony Pictures

‘Chronicle’, the found-footage entry into the superhero genre, was a surprise critical and commercial hit for Fox earlier this year. The studio knew it had something special with ‘Chronicle’ and its director Josh Trank before the movie was released and discussions soon began about Trank working with Fox on rebooting one of their bigger-budgeted Marvel properties, ‘Fantastic Four’.  Now it looks like Trank will in fact work on a Marvel superhero film next but it won’t be for Fox.

The L.A. Times is reporting that Sony Pictures is negotiating with Trank to direct ‘Venom’, a ‘Spider-Man’ spin-0ff that would focus on Spidey’s symbiotic villain. Though Venom made an appearance in ‘Spider-Man 3′ (played by Topher Grace), the Times reports that Trank’s version would not be related to any previous films or scripts.

Sony had previously tried to get a ‘Venom’ film off the ground with the project dating back to 2008. Both David S. Goyer (‘Batman Begins’) and Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (‘Zombieland’) were commissioned to write drafts of the film with Gary Ross (‘The Hunger Games’) at one point attached to direct. But the creative fallout from the disappointing ‘Spider-Man 3′ left the project in development hell. It’s unclear whether the revival was Sony’s doing or something Trank himself sparked to.

As for ‘Fantastic Four’, Trank has said that he was never formally approached by Fox for the gig and it’s very possible that Sony just beat them to the punch and began negotiations while Fox stalled (which would be unfortunate because, in our honest opinion, Trank is a far better match for ‘FF’ than ‘Venom’). A good question would be how Sony plans to connect this ‘Venom’ film with their ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, which reboots the Spider-Man franchise with Andrew Garfield as the webslinger.

For the uninitiated, Venom is a sentient alien symbiote; a black goo accidentally picked up by Spider-Man on an alien planet. The goo attached itself to Spider-Man and replicated his costume, only now in black, and with a stronger and endless supply of web fluid. But Peter Parker eventually realizes the “costume” is alive and uses church bells (sound is one of the symbiote’s only weaknesses) to break the bond. The goo eventually connects with Eddie Brock, a competitor of Parker’s in the newspaper world, and their combined hatred of Spider-Man leads to the supervillain known as Venom.

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