Anti-hero Ingenue and Co-creator of Venom, Todd McFarlane, has been silent for a good amount of time after the haphazard Raimi
delusion … eh, vision of Spider-Man 3 that featured not one, but three villains in the film.
Of course, aside from Sandman and Green Goblin, we met Venom. Or, at least, we wanted to do that.
Topher Grace (aka Eddie Brock) was a svelte–almost diminutive–version of the symbiote. We were all giddy about the first sight of Venom on the big screen in the few scenes we watched him tangle with the fabled webhead.
But something was just off.
Collider recently interviewed McFarlane about the runaway surprise of Tom Hardy’s version of Eddie Brock and, more specifically to the point of this post, he shared what he didn’t appreciate about the Raimi/Avi Arad concoction.
In short, well… Venom in Spider-Man 3 was just that. Short.
This isn’t subjective counterpoint. This is from the guy who envisioned, drew, and created Eddie Brock’s alter-ego. He was made to be a menacing force of nature. Venom was drawn as nearly elephantine in stature, not a sylphlike 5’10” with an overbite.
And before you go on a Marvel-fueled rant, even Arad has admitted he was wrong in portraying a very human version of Venom. Raimi was never a fan of Venom; therefore, Eddie Brock was forcefully eschewed into his movie like a Kardashian caboose into a size-two pair of yoga pants.
I think we learned that Venom is not a sideshow. In all fairness, I’ll take the guilt because of what Sam Raimi used to say in all of these interviews feeling guilty that I forced him into it. And you know what I learned? Don’t force anybody into anything. Therefore, (Sam) wasn’t interested in the inside to make how is Venom like us? How do we deal with the Venom, and Marvel is all metaphors.
Back to McFarlane
He shared in the video chat that Venom would whoop up on Spider-Man almost every time because of sheer strength, towering physique, and brute force. Peter Parker had to use his brain to defeat this monster.
McFarlane explained Venom is a “big, physical presence. And for me artistically, I intentionally created a character that was going to be massive.”
“Now all the sudden I got Topher, he’s on screen, it’s Spider-Man 3, and I’m going, ‘Here it goes,'” McFarlane added. He expressed excitement at the transformation until he realized Venom was not growing in size, and that the character had the same physical stature as the skinny Topher Grace. “What’s happening? He’s not growing! … He’s just Topher with black [covering him].”
In fact, it seems the only thing that did grow during McFarlane’s viewing of the 2007 movie was his curiosity why Venom looked so normal.
Turns out no one from Raimi’s crew consulted McFarlane about Venom’s aesthetic. No questions about his look, his feel, his nothing. While McFarlane insists there are no hard feelings, no one could blame him if he was a tad butt-hurt and bitter.
And then, we got the real Venom in 2018.
Everything Raimi got wrong, Ruben Fleischer (director) got right. None other than McFarlane believed that to be true.
“So for me, I go, ‘Shoot, I like the movie!’ I’m completely biased. I like the movie ’cause he’s big and he’s hulking,” he explained. “They could have just had them at McDonald’s eating french fries and I would have loved it, as long as he was like really big at the table… I got my Venom. I got my Venom in the Tom Hardy version.”
Don’t we all feel that way? Most fans of Venom believe they were shortchanged with Spider-Man 3, which is why the sound you heard when the movie hit theaters was a collective exhale of relief.
Apparently, Topher Grace was among those in a theater during opening weekend’s $80 million take. He even believes Tom Hardy “is the best.”
“To me — I truly mean this — I think Tom is the guy to play that role,” Grace recently told Inverse about Hardy. “I’m thrilled to watch it as a fan. I really mean that. I think he’s just the best dude.”
Finally, something from Spider-Man 3 in which we can all agree.