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The Amazing Spider-Man: An Alternative Take on a Beloved Film Franchise (Feat. Venom and Carnage)
There’s been a lot of recent news (and even a trailer!) about the sequel to 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, an ambivalent reboot that turned out, for many fans, much better than the original. Most of the news has concerned The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s villains, now believed to consist of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti), and Harry Osborn as the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan). Sound a little like a previous incarnation of the Spider-Man film franchise? In fact, the plethora of villains in the original trilogy’s final installment was criticized primarily for the generous number of villains included in the film.
To clarify, I’m not a big fan of the Sam Raimi films, while I found Marc Webb’s incarnation much more faithful to the original vision of Spider-Man. I am also intrigued by the recently revealed idea that OsCorp is at the heart of New York City’s (super)villainy. It’s a clever but practical way to tie in the myriad supervillains in the Spidey universe, ’cause let’s face it, what are the odds that multiple individuals would develop superhuman traits through completely different freak accidents? If you recall, even Peter Parker’s powers were a result of OsCorp’s genetic testing in the new film series.
As much as I enjoyed the reboot, however, I must admit I’m quite bummed about the villain choices for the sequel. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the multitude of threats the Spider-Man universe has to offer, it’s just that I feel two choices are so obvious that they deserve inclusion. I am, of course, referring to possibly the two most beloved villains in the franchise: Venom and Carnage. These two posed more problems and were more menacing that probably any other villain in the Spider-Man universe. They are also fan favorites…so why aren’t they using them?
You could always reference Spider-Man 3’s god-awful portrayal of Venom (Topher Grace) as reason enough, but I’d argue the depictions of the Green Goblin (both by Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn and James Franco’s Harry Osborn) were also poorly done, enough to warrant the exclusion of the Green Goblin from the reboot by that standard. The thing is, this is a separate film series with a new creative team and, more importantly, director. Seeing how Webb’s handled Spidey, I have faith his incarnation of Venom would be executed much better than Raimi’s.
To that end, I quickly developed my own rough outline for a Venom/Carnage story arc that I feel would faithfully portray the characters and satisfy casual movie-goers and hardcore fans alike. Two things to bear in mind: this obviously wouldn’t work as a direct sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man, as they’ve already set up the whole OsCorp thing, but it could still be in the same universe with the same actors; and, more importantly, this is purely for fun. This is in no way saying, “They should scrap their ideas and use mine!” or, “They’re doing it wrong; it should be this way!” I only mean to provide a fun, plausible idea of how a Venom-Carnage storyline could work in the context of the current film franchise.
Now, to start, this would be a three-film story arc (“Yikes!” I know, but bear with me). This is to ensure the story is developed and not rushed. In the first of these films, the Symbiote would infect Spider-Man as in the comics, though without him leaving Earth and not with a rushed, meteorite-crashes-into-Earth fashion, a la Spider-Man 3. Perhaps this could also tie into OsCorp, who would have discovered the Symbiote in this scenario and have been using it for testing. It could even be that the host attaches to Spider-Man at the end of a previous film during a climactic battle with a different villain in OsCorp’s laboratory, or Gwen Stacey unwittingly introduces him to it.
In any scenario, the first film would focus on Spider-Man’s awe over the Symbiote, his realization of its malevolence, and its subsequent bonding with Eddie Brock. I still like the church/bell tower idea, though Brock’s tearful, self-pitying prayer to God would have to go. In this film, Parker would quickly realize the source of Brock’s ungodly power and defeat him in battle, leading to his incarceration. The first film would end with him making the acquaintance of his cellmate, Cletus Kasady.
See where this is going? The second of these films would begin with a flashback of the young Kasady’s troubled domestic life before fastforwarding to the present, where Brock’s Symbiote spawns an offspring, which bonds with Kasady, creating Carnage. Together, the two break out of prison (assuming it’s a prison like The Vault from the comic book series, it’s only logical it would take two supervillains working together to break out, right?). Afterward, they go their separate ways, Venom to track down Spider-Man and Carnage to wreak sadistic havoc on New York City.
The film would periodically flash back to Kasady’s formative years while showing the monster he has become. After some brutal battles with Venom and possibly even a casualty close to Parker (Gwen Stacey, if she hasn’t been killed off by this point), Spidey fakes his own death and Parker goes into hiding to escape Venom’s vengeance. Without him, Carnage brings New York City to its knees as tensions with Venom escalate, and the film ends with a public outcry for the web-slinger. Desperate to protect those left he holds dear (Aunt May and perhaps Mary Jane) but seeing the destruction at the hands of Carnage (and to a lesser extent, Venom), Spidey resolves to return and put an end to the chaos.
In the final film, Spider-Man returns to battle Carnage and loses. Knowing the strained relationship between him and Venom, Parker implores Brock to aid him in stopping Carnage, whose bloodlust has become too much for even Brock’s liking. Reluctantly, Venom agrees, and for most of the rest of the film, the two work together to bring down Carnage, after which Venom immediately turns on Parker. Already anticipating Venom’s betrayal, Spider-Man is prepared and the two have a final bout. In my mind, Spider-Man is forced to kill Brock to stop the Symbiote, as its bond with him has become unbreakable. As that may upset more faithful fans, however, that last part is debatable.
So there you have it: my take on a Venom-Carnage film story arc. Obviously the details would need to be filled in, but it would be the Spider-Man films I’d kill to see! What about you? Anything you’d love to see from our favorite web-slinger? Which villains would you like to see Spidey face off against? Let us know! Those comments won’t write themselves.