Spider-Man 3 star Thomas Haden Church still thinks Topher Grace was great as Eddie Brock aka. Venom. The third installment of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man series for Sony Pictures arrived in 2007 – just one year before Marvel Studios launched their Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, while Spider-Man 3 earned $890 million at the worldwide box office, the film received mixed critical reviews and wasn’t well-liked among fans. One of the most contentious aspects of the movie in particular was Grace’s portrayal of Venom.
Spider-Man 3 introduced Grace as Eddie Brock, a rival photographer to Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, who gets overtaken by the alien symbiote. Fans criticized the film’s Venom for being ham-fisted into a movie containing two other villains, and for not depicting a comics-accurate version of the Marvel character. Raimi has since admitted Spider-Man 3 “just didn’t work very well,” while Grace has defended the film as well as Raimi. Now, another Spider-Man 3 actor is voicing his own defense of the film, and Grace’s Venom in particular.
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In an interview with JoBlo, Spider-Man 3 star Thomas Haden Church – who played Flint Marko aka. Sandman – spoke about what interested him about the film in the first place, and the original plan. In fact, Spider-Man 3 didn’t originally include Venom, but the studio wanted to include another, younger villain. Church said:
The studio felt like they had me, they had Franco’s story continuing, and they were like, we need one more that’s more of a millennial. And that’s how Venom and Topher Grace came into the picture. And by the way, I thought Topher was great in the movie and Venom is a pretty scary animal. And that was the evolution of that. I was thrilled, man.
Certainly, fans who were disappointed by Spider-Man 3‘s portrayal of Venom will disagree with Church’s defense of Grace as Eddie Brock. But Church still praises everyone involved in the making of that film, including Raimi. Further, Church spoke about Raimi’s plans for Spider-Man 4, which would have featured Vulture as the main villain. In fact, the original plan was for Spider-Man 3 to introduce Vulture, setting up the next film. As Church mentioned, Venom was added later on in the development process.
More than 10 years on, Sony has since rebooted Spider-Man – twice. First with Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, then with Tom Holland as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Vulture was, of course, used as the main villain of Homecoming, played by Michael Keaton. Additionally, Sony is gearing up for another live-action version of Eddie Brock, with Tom Hardy in the role for Venom. Though the first teaser trailer for Venom didn’t receive a universally positive response, fans remain hyped – or at least interested – to see a different version of the symbiote on the big screen.
And, for those who enjoyed Spider-Man 3‘s Venom, like Church, Raimi’s trilogy remains a major entry in Hollywood’s lexicon of superhero franchises. Undoubtedly, Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy helped to pave the way for the MCU and other comic book superhero blockbusters now enjoying massive success at the box office as well as with critics and fans.
Next: Official Alternate Cut of Spider-Man 3 Available Online