"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" producer Matthew Tolmach recently spoke with SFX about Sony's proposed "Venom" and "The Sinister Six" film spin-offs.
Tolmach confirms the films will be told from the villain's point of view, and the whole point of the films is to expand this cinematic world with Spider-Man at the heart:
"It's a challenge in every sense. Obviously questions of traditional hero/villain dynamics have to be looked at. At the same time it's an awesome challenge, because some of the greatest characters are in fact villains, and how you construct that is so much fun. People love those bad characters if they're good bad characters, and love to watch them. And nobody's all good, nobody's all bad, and so where we end up with that story, I think, is a really awesome challenge, and we all smile when we think about what you can do. It's definitely a bad-ass group of people and I think it's going to be a ton of fun to watch them.
That's the new thing that we constructed. [These movies] all come from the same place. We realized it would be really good in terms of storytelling to have a grand scheme for where and how these stories grow out of the centrepiece, which is always Spider-Man. These movies feel as though they're of a piece, so the fans feel like there's symmetry. It's a crazy luxury to have all these smart writers sitting around in a room brainstorming."
Long time "Spider-Man" producer Avi Arad expanded on these quotes, saying:
"With Marvel characters, the villains are victims of circumstance. If you look at our villains, none of them were born like that. Our villains are nice and complex and in the world of film writing you can play with that, you can make some wonderful things out of it. The Spider-Man universe has amazing villains, they are all character driven.
Venom hated only one guy - Spider-Man. He wasn't innately bad, he was a shortcut guy, not really into fighting hard for achievement. That's the Venom story. Can he also be a good guy? As you know, Venom was also called 'lethal defender of the innocent'. We had a great history with him, especially caring for the homeless, which is a very sensitive issue and something that many of us are very concerned with.
Our villains all represent a different side of the misunderstood, and some of them unfortunately turned to the dark side. Venom happened to be a phenomenal character. With Eddie Brock, or if you do Flash Thompson, it doesn't matter who is going to be inside the suit - what's important is that a man like him is going to realize there comes a time when you wake up in the morning and say 'How did I get here? There must be a better way."
Director Marc Webb also spoke about this anti-hero approach:
"We've been talking about how to make this universe even bigger, and really get underneath the skin of all the incredible characters. The cinematic possibilities of all these storylines are just magnificent. We've got some of the greatest writing minds around."