Venom or Matt Helm?

As we learned last week, filmmaker Gary Ross (SEABISCUIT, PLEASANTVILLE) is reportedly working on writing and possibly directing Marvel's sticky villian (turned hero?) VENOM in a solo adventure.

But does Ross already have a full dance card? According to the Playlist, before he bonds symbiote to host, he'll make a new machismo-filled mission for swinging spy MATT HELM.

An update of the property has been in the works for years, most recently caught in the Dreamworks/Paramount divorce. While Steven Spielberg reportedly loved the latest draft (by DONNIE BRASCO scribe Paul Attanasio) and considered directing, he instead opted for a pointless remake of HARVEY.

Now Paramount is hot to find a BOURNE of their own, and  they've reportedly roped in Ross to direct (the studio is also eyeballing sudden A-lister Bradley Cooper for the role). What makes this rumor seem a bit strange is that Ross is also working on the script for SPIDER-MAN 4 (filming next year), and the assumption was that there would be some kind of connection or synergy with the VENOM movie. If he's busy squashing global villainy with HELM, does the Marvel maniac take a backseat?

Based on a character from novelist Donald Hamilton, Helm (another of the many things liberally "borrowed" by Mike Myers for the AUSTIN POWERS series) was previously portrayed by drunken crooner Dean Martin as a suave sexist spy in three bombastic films, THE SILENCERS, THE AMBUSHERS and THE WRECKING CREW. Matt also popped up on a short-lived TV series in the mid-70s.

Extra Tidbit: George Clooney and "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm were previously pursued for the part. I kinda think Josh Duhamel (TRANSFORMERS) would be a good choice, myself.
Source: The Playlist



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