A movie featuring Spider-Man spinoff character Venom has been in the works for almost a decade, with the character making his big-screen debut in 2007’s Spider-Man 3 only to have the planned solo feature slide into limbo when Sony Pictures chose not to continue the Spider-Man franchise.
Fortunately, you can’t keep a good character down in Hollywood — even when that character has spent most of its existence as one of Marvel Comics’ most notorious villains — and a Venom movie is now expected to hit theaters in 2018.
Set to be directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) from a script by Scott Rosenberg (Pain & Gain, Jumanji), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), and Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey), Venom will feature Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dark Knight Rises star Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in the film’s lead role. The movie’s supporting cast members include Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Jenny Slate (Parks and Recreation).
With Venom scheduled to premiere October 5, 2018, here is everything we know about the movie so far.
Given how long it’s taken for the Venom movie to make any forward progress, it’s understandable if some people won’t believe it’s actually going to arrive in theaters until they see some photographic evidence of production.
Well, that’s exactly what the film’s Twitter account provided on October 23.
Captioned “Day 1. #Venom,” the photo features Hardy looking on as production begins on the film. Appropriately enough, it’s also the first post on the movie’s Twitter account.
Along with teasing Hardy’s attachment to the film, the photo also revealed which incarnation of Venom the actor will bring to the screen: Eddie Brock.
In Marvel Comics lore, Eddie Brock was a photographer who became the host of the alien entity known as Venom — which imbues its host with powerful abilities but also increases its host’s bloodlust and violent tendencies. Its previous host, Spider-Man, realized the danger it presented and managed to separate himself from it after a struggle both psychological and physical. Over the years, the character has spent time outside the traditional villain role and even went through a period in which he acted as a vicious, criminal-chasing vigilante while bonded with Brock.
Venom’s first big-screen appearance featured Topher Grace in the role of Brock, who bonded with the alien in director Sam Raimi’s 2007 film.
Along with Hardy in the lead role, the cast of Venom also includes four-time Academy Award nominee Williams, who is expected to portray the film’s female lead.
According to a September 2017 report from Variety, Williams will likely play a district attorney and possibly the love interest of Hardy’s character. Also attached to the film in supporting roles are Slate and Veep actor Reid Scott, with Mully actor Scott Haze also rumored for an unidentified role. Slate is rumored to be playing a scientist in the film.
Also attached to the film is Ahmed, who is rumored to be playing another notorious host of the alien symbiote: Carnage.
First introduced in a 1992 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, Carnage is an offspring of the Venom symbiote that bonded with a serial killer and lacks any moral foundation whatsoever. One of Spider-Man and Venom’s most dangerous, unpredictable foes, Carnage is a superpowered psychopath who wields all of the same powers as Venom and embraces — rather than fights to control — the bloodlust brought on by the alien symbiote.
The identity of Ahmed’s character in the film remains unconfirmed at this point, though, so we need to wait for official word from the studio to know whether Venom will be a tale of two (or more) symbiotes.
Dark and distinct
Although Spider-Man: Homecoming was firmly set within Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe, Venom will reportedly be set in its own, separate Sony Pictures universe, despite the character’s ties to Spider-Man.
The notion of distancing Venom from Spider-Man and the Marvel Studios universe came as a surprise to fans when it was first rumored in March 2017, and continues to be the subject of much debate among comics fans and movie industry pundits. Given the critical and commercial success of Spider-Man: Homecoming and the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point, there is plenty of incentive to tie Venom to those films, but all signs point to Sony positioning Venom as the first film in a new cinematic universe based on Spider-Man spinoff properties.
The same report that initially indicated Venom would exist in its own universe also suggested that the film would come with an “R” rating — which could be one of the reasons for distancing it from Spider-Man and the MCU. As a character, Venom has always been associated with darker, more violent adventures, particularly when Carnage is involved (as rumors suggest he might be), so the decision to follow in the footsteps of recent “R”-rated features Deadpool and Logan could play into his position outside the MCU.
This article was originally posted on Digital Trends
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