Rumor: Venom film may have to wait for Matt Helm

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

Gary Ross, the Pleasantville writer/director who was rumored to direct a new Venom movie, is now rumored to be the guy who will reboot the swinging-'60s spy franchise Matt Helm.

That would mean Venom would have to wait, The PlayList reported:

But a source close to the project tells us a new director has his hands on the project—none other than Gary Ross, writer-director of "Pleasantville" and "Seabiscuit," who was recently attached to writing and potentially directing the Sony "Spider-Man" spin-off "Venom" (he had something to do with the "Spider-Man 4" script, too). But this source notes, "Venom" is a ways off and will have to wait, "Matt Helm," is coming first and is being scheduled to shoot in the summer of 2010 if all goes according to plan.

The movie is based on a series of 27 novels written by Donald Hamilton, about a government agent whose mission is to take down enemy agents. It was previously adapted in films starring Dean Martin (!) as the title spy. The series was seen as an American response to James Bond.

Previously, Steven Spielberg was rumored to be interested in directing, and stars including George Clooney and Mad Men's Jon Hamm were in line to play the role.

Now it's looking like The Hangover's Bradley Cooper could be up for the role; he's no stranger to the genre, having played an ordinary guy turned reluctant spy early in his career, on TV's Alias.