Venom illustrates why standalone movies about villains don't work
Comic book villains have stories that are better told when juxtaposed with the hero's story. It's a formula that works in making these types of movies. For some reason, I keep hearing talk of standalone Doctor Doom, Joker and Harley Quinn movies, even though there's no huge swell of support from fans.
That's not to say that these characters aren't popular. They are beloved. But that isn't a reason to build a movie around a solo villain. What defines a villain is the hero and vise-versa. Venom may be a case study. Fans love Venom but only in the context of his hated foe Spider-man and the world they both inhabit. The same goes for Joker. Would you really care about Joker if his world didn't include Batman? They are each other's yin and yang. If one doesn't exist, the other has nothing to do that's really all that interesting.
In making a Venom movie, I can't imagine what they were going for in terms of story. Since there's no Spider-man for Venom to oppose, there's no conflict on a equal level with a worthy protagonist. How these studios like Sony and WB can't grasp this simple formula for bringing comic book characters to life is beyond me. How can we know this and they not know it.
Sadly, it looks like Venom is going to suffer from not having a defined arch-enemy and a muddled story. Such a shame for such a good character.