Sony Bets On Marvel’s Anti-Heroes Again?

Venom Is Sony’s 3rd Attempt Doing An Anti-hero Movie

Sony’s Venom is out and it’s proven that 3rd time isn’t a charm for their Anti-Heroes. Wait you say? Third Anti-Hero movie from Sony?  Why yes,  yes it is. Here is what how Sony’s love of Anti-Heroes started.


Spirit of Vengeance: Marvel’s Original Anti-hero

Ghost Rider was Sony’s first foray into Marvel’s anti-hero universe in 2007.  It was directed by Marvel’s then golden boy. Mark Steve Johnson (he directed Ben Affleck’s Daredevil) and wrote the script as well.  Daredevil was OK for a 2000’s superhero movie.
Marvel decided then that Mr Johnson helm Marvel’s original comic book Anti-Hero, Ghost Rider.
A story about beating the devil’s kid (an Emo Goth villain with sidekicks from Hot Topic) to get a contract of a dammed town. Seriously a contract? Mr. Johnson must had lawyers in mind when he wrote Ghost Rider.

What Was Marvel Thinking?

He took a dark gritty character that struggled with a vengeful spirit riding a hellfire motorcycle and turned it into a PG-13 candy swilling, monkey boxing, sad looking CGI, disaster. Even Eva Mendes couldn’t help a movie that was spun as a “new age western”.
It was a hit for Marvel back then but if you look at , it ranks on 2nd to last on Marvel mid-range movies.

Spirits of Vengeance: Part Deux

Then in 2012, when Sony was about to lose their rights to old Flamehead, they quickly threw Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance into production. Who did they find to direct that flaming turd? It was Mark Neveldine and  Brian Taylor. They’re responsible for Crank and DC’s Jonah Hex. In researching for this story I found that Scott Gimple (he’s responsible for ruining AMC’s Walking Dead in my opinion) and Seth Martin were the script writers.  Let’s not forget Sony only wanted a PG-13 movie.

Darker But Lacked Original Story

Ghost Rider 2 trailers had a grittier feel and look. I will give Sony credit for getting that right.  However a story of trying to beat the devil from taking over the world . However when the movie came out, Nicolas Cage tried using his gonzo acting to help the movie be more than it was. Even with the new Ghost Rider ability of taken over any vehicle with his hellfire powers, it wasn’t powerful enough to fire up a new franchise.

Venom First Outing in Spider-Man 3

Sony has done Venom before in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (which Mr Raimi didn’t want to put him in Spider-Man 3) and it proved to be ham handed way to introduce Venom with Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom. It had a nod to the comic book (Amazing Spider-Man #300) in how they took care of separating the symbiote from Eddy but that’s it. The movie was too busy shoving as many villains it could into one movie to have a cohesive story.

Venom: All By Himself

Fast forward to 2016 when Sony announces they are doing a Venom movie without a tie-in to Spider-Man. Then they announces it will come out late 2017. It takes 2 yrs to do a Spider-Man movie with a good script.  Another sign of Triple P (Piss Poor Planning): Sony showed once again they didn’t learn from `1998’s Godzilla by not showing Venom at all! That usually spells certain disaster when a CGI dependent character  CGI doesn’t appear in a teaser movie trailer.

Venom Is Snake Bit

Reviews say it’s tonally off. Tom Hardy’s comedic style doesn’t fit well with the rest of the movie, but when Venom is on screen it’s suppose to be awesome.  So does Sony have a cash cow on their hands or a DOA Anti-Hero franchise again like Ghost Rider.  Venom will do great numbers this weekend because people “want” to love Venom. However, in my opinion, it won’t be able to morph itself into a sequel, Sony will go back scratching their heads wondering why it didn’t work.

What Sony Needs To Learn From Marvel

Here’s why Sony can’t get their Marvel properties to ignite franchises. They don’t have a curator like Kevin Feige watching over their Marvel Universe. Instead they haphazardly just throw scripts together figuring the audience won’t care, it’s just comic book characters after all, right?  They might be comic book characters but they need compelling stories to build movie franchises. Or they will be stuck making one-off Marvel movies.


Venom and Ghost Rider