With Spider-Man: Homecoming nearing its theatrical debut, Sony looks to be making the webslinger’s universe a big deal again. One of the points that crystallizes the studio’s intentions is their interest in a number of Spidey offshoot stories centered on characters in this strand of the Marvel Comics canon. One of the more enticing is surely Venom, which already has a release date pegged (Oct. 5, 2018) and now just got a shot in the arm with the announcements that actor Tom Hardy and director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) both appear in final negotiations to board the project.
The announcement came via Sony’s Twitter feed with a picture of Hardy (Oscar nominated for his work in The Revenant), who is said to be a fan of the alien symbiote character, which debuted on the pages of Marvel Comics back in 1988 (by writer David Michelinie and artists Todd McFarlane and Mike Zeck). Venom is of clear interest for Sony as the character represents one of the strongest and most popular villains in the Spidey universe and one that was previously introduced, somewhat un-enthusiastically, in Sam Raimi’s 2007 title Spider-Man 3 (he was played by Topher Grace). The Venom standalone title marks but one of Sony’s ambitious bids to build a multi-character comic book universe of their own. Aside from this title, they are also developing a film centered around the characters Silver Sable and Black Cat.
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) May 19, 2017
Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, both of whom worked on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, will pen the screenplay for Venom and while plot details are currently being kept under the vest, Hardy, if final deals are worked out, would be slated to play Eddie Brock, the character who first became Venom – the villain needs a human host to survive. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal serve as producers of the title.
Hardy previously portrayed another iconic comic-book villain – that would be Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and has recently appeared in the Oscar winning titles Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. He will next be seen in Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk, hitting theaters this summer. Fleischer made a splash as the director of the hit comedy Zombieland; he has also directed 30 Minutes or Less and Gangster Squad.
Venom is expected to arrive in theaters on October 5, 2018.