After reading Sam Raimi's explanation of just went wrong with Spider-Man 3, a lot of the blame for the comparatively lackluster movie fell on the shoulders of one character: Peter Parker's symbiotic frenemy, Venom. But could one change have saved the movie?
The problem wasn't necessarily the introduction of Venom's character, argued some commenters. It was that it may have simply happened too fast. Instead, they said, the character should have had an arc that unfolded over several movies:
Actually, I've just had a long talk with the wife about Venom, and why it should be a trilogy. A part of this involved telling her about the whole Venom thing in the comics - and just how much went into this.
The thing is, Spider-Man and Venom are a very interesting pair. Peter Parker gets this costume. This costume is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It heals. It shape-shifts, so he can have it look like his normal clothing, then switch to his black outfit on a whim. It makes his webbing. He's faster, stronger, more alert when he's wearing this. The black costume is perfect.
The problem comes when it doesn't let him sleep... he's too wired on adrenaline. He later finds out the suit is bonding to him - eventually it won't ever come off, and it is constantly pushing him. This is a bit much, so he has the suit forcibly removed.
And the symbiote is hurt. It didn't do anything wrong. It was giving Peter what he wanted, and it was doing its best with what it had. It feels wronged, and it gets angry and it wants revenge. But when it is freed - it returns to Peter, and tries to show that it could be good for him. And he rejects it. Again.
And when it bonds with Eddie - someone with a beef with Parker, who is on the brink of suicide, the two connect. Eddie's mad at Peter. The symbiote is mad at Peter. The two terrorize him by going after Mary Jane, and Peter has to fight someone who knows who he is, and knows how to hurt him.
And if you read the larger arc, the connection between Spider-Man and Venom has analmost sexual tone to it. The Venom symbiote still loves Peter, but is hurt - much like a jilted lover. And it wants Peter to hurt like it hurt - but doesn't really want to kill him. I think because it hoped - some day - it could return to him.
Now, I think this kind of arc would be amazing in a Spider-Man movie, and I think it would take three movies to do right, as I broke down in my last post. Get the suit as part of the arc, while Peter deals with another enemy. Have him shed the suit in the second movie while dealing with another threat, then have the suit come back and bond with him a second time, before being 'shed' in the church scene.
Then wrap everything up with the appearance of Venom, and deal with that. The trick would be to get the emotional textures in - the suit trying to do what it can, getting rejected, and seeking revenge. That emotional impact I think is important.
What do you think? Would giving Venom space in more Spiderman movies have fixed the problems, or just given us even more not-so-great Spiderman movies to watch? Tell us your thoughts on your favorite and least favorite potential Spiderman storylines in the comments now.