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Gary Ross to direct Spidey spin-off

Those pesky hardcore Spider-Man fans lobbied and cajoled for evil-spidey Venom to appear in Spider-Man 3. And when he did, everyone complained he was there. Chuh, you can't please anyone nowadays.

The main issue, of course, was a too-many-villains problem that meant the alien symbiote felt crowbarred into a plot that didn't need him; a problem that producer Avi Arad and writer/director Gary Ross hope will be rectified when Venom gets his own film.

Ross, who is currently re-writing Jamie Vanderbilt and David Lindsay-Abaire's Spider-Man 4 script, will get to work shortly. The project stays with Spider-studio Columbia, who retain the rights to the Spider-universe despite Disney's Marvel takeover, as long as the films keep coming.

Apologies to all those sick to death of this word, but here it is again: reboot. It sounds as if this new film won't necessarily follow the continuity set up in Spidey 3, and it seems unlikely that Topher Grace (who signed up for Predators yesterday) will be back in the black costume. What we're apparently looking at is a repositioning of the character as "an antihero who becomes a defender of the innocent." Quite how a parasitic alien organism that drives its hosts mental can be made a defender of the innocent remains to be seen. But then he seems positively tame when compared to the other evil-Spidey Carnage, so maybe it'll be a lesser-of-two-evils deal. Some people handle the symbiote better than others...

What do we think? Can Venom hold his own in a Spidey-free movie? And do we want him as a good guy?

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