Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was a movie with a lot of flaws, so much so that despite earning $895 million at the box office and still holding a decent 63% score on Rotten Tomatoes well over a decade later, it’s often one of the first titles that comes to mind when making unfavorable comparisons with any superhero blockbuster that stuffs far too much plot and one too many villains into the mix.
The experience ultimately caused Raimi to walk away from the franchise entirely despite a fourth installment already being well into the development stage, and since then the web-slinger has already been rebooted twice under two different studios, with Sony also in the midst of their second attempt at building a cinematic universe based on Spider-Man’s extensive rogues’ gallery.
One of the major criticisms of Spider-Man 3 was the use of Venom, with Topher Grace horribly miscast in the role and both the actor’s performance and the symbiotic subplot in general regarded as the movie’s weakest aspect. Once it turned out that Raimi wasn’t interested in using Venom and only put him in the story at the studio’s request, you can understand why everything involving the fan favorite antihero was treated so apathetically.
Spider-Man 3’s Venom also looked very little like his comic book counterpart, with Grace’s slight build not exactly in keeping with the typically hulking Eddie Brock’s depiction. Some unconvincing visual effects also let things down, but it turns out that the production team actually built a full-size animatronic Venom that was never even used, and you can check out some images of it below.
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A video was also recently posted to social media that shows the model in all of its tongue-flickering glory, and even a half-completed animatronic Venom brings ten times more menace to the party than Topher Grace did.
Here’s a look at the Venom animatronic puppet in motion.
It was recently restored by someone who bought it. pic.twitter.com/KRuf4KQqKW
— Will (@WilliamD1123) July 4, 2020
Of course, Tom Hardy’s Venom took a lot of flak for some painfully subpar CGI, but despite the fact that animatronics can often be a lot more convincing than visual effects, which is one of the major reasons why Jurassic Park still holds up so well even after almost 30 years, it remains a largely obsolete technology.