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James Cameron Planned For A Huge Marvel Villain In His Axed Spider-Man Movie

In 1993, with "True Lies" wrapping up production, director James Cameron had his eyes set on bringing Spider-Man to the big screen. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, Cameron's "Spider-Man" never got made, for better or for worse. The director's vision wasn't comic-accurate and was far too gritty, but it was no doubt ambitious. In the pic, Spider-Man would have faced off against unique reinterpretations of Electro and Sandman. It turns out that Cameron was also tweaking with the idea of introducing Venom, one of Marvel's most iconic villains. 

The Cinémathèque Française in Paris is currently hosting an exhibition titled "The Art of James Cameron," which, among several props, features sketches and drawings created by the filmmaker for several of his projects. The exhibit displays a sketch of Peter Parker in the iconic black Spider-Man suit, with a blurb from Cameron explaining how Venom would have factored into his film.

"And then there's 'Spider-Man,' the greatest movie I never made," the blurb reads. "... This is a sketch I did, in Prismacolor on black paper, to get myself in the mood for writing the script. ... I show him in an all-black suit here—anticipating that I would want the Venom alien symbiote version of Spider-Man to show up somewhere in the story, either in the first film or the sequel. I always think ahead." 

While James Cameron never got to tweak around with Venom, the character would eventually became a staple for the franchise's big-screen offerings. 

James Cameron's Spider-Man paved the way for Sam Raimi's version

Thanks to a myriad of factors, which included a lawsuit, the director never got to make his superhero film. James Cameron did change the "Spider-Man" franchise in a big way, as his vision helped shape Sam Raimi's trilogy. "Spider-Man" (2002) screenwriter David Koepp has discussed how Cameron's assets for the scrapped superhero film were responsible for the foundation of the character's eventual cinematic debut. While audiences did get a pretty solid "Spider-Man" film thanks to Raimi and Koepp, one can't help but wonder how intriguing Cameron's version would have been. 

The "Titanic" director has opened up about his failed "Spider-Man" movie, and it definitely would have been a doozy, but also potentially sacrilegious. Cameron imagined a mature, gritty version of Spider-Man, with the film including a graphic sex scene between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. The director's interpretations of the villains were also different, with Electro operating as a businessman with nefarious desires. It's unclear how exactly Venom would have factored into the filmmaker's overall vision. Cameron does state that the character would have been introduced in either the first film or a sequel, so it's difficult to say if the creative was 100% adamant on including the symbiote.

With Electro and Sandman already operating as the film's villains, it seems quite daunting to include Venom as a third villain. Since Cameron envisioned a tortured, "emo"-like Peter Parker, it's easy to see why the filmmaker was so attracted to the idea of incorporating the black Spidey suit early in the creative process.