Ross to Rewrite, Possibly Direct ‘Spider-Man’ Spinoff

Spider-Man spinoff Venom is gearing up with Gary Ross in to do a rewrite and possibly direct.

Ross is already rewriting Spider-Man 4 at Columbia Pictures. Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad and Ross will produce.

Venom, who appeared in Spider-Man 3 played by Topher Grace, is an archenemy of the webslinger but will be transformed into an antihero who becomes a defender of the innocent for the new film.

In Spider-Man 3, Venom started out as Eddie Brock, Peter Parker’s newspaper rival. Infected by an alien organism that grafted itself to his skin, Brock had superpowers and strength superior to Spider-Man’s.

Grace is not considered likely to reprise his role, Variety reports.

Despite Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, Columbia is able to turn Venom loose in a film because the studio holds rights in perpetuity not only to Spider-Man but to the villains in his universe. 

Sam Raimi is prepping for a 2010 production start on Spider-Man 4 and writer Jamie Vanderbilt is currently scripting the fifth and sixth installments.

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