While the Marvel Cinematic Universe charts out its own plans for Spider-Man, Sony is getting a little Spidey action on the side by developing spinoff movies centered on characters from the Wall-Crawler's mythology. One of those movies will be Venom, and it was just announced that Tom Hardy will play the symbiote-powered anti-hero.
Sony Pictures officially announced that Tom Hardy will play Venom, specifically Eddie Brock, in the upcoming movie, which will not be connected to the MCU Spider-Man world. In addition, THR dropped the news that Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer will direct Venom. This blockbuster, written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, is considered one of Sony's top priorities, so the studio is working swiftly to begin shooting this fall so it can make its 2018 release date. Hardy is the second actor to play Eddie Brock/Venom on the big screen, preceded by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3.
This won't be Tom Hardy's first foray into the world of comic book media. He previously played Bane in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, and he was originally supposed to play Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad, but he later dropped out, and Joel Kinnaman was hired as his replacement. Hardy is also working on the upcoming 100 Bullets movie, based off the series from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. Hardy's other notable credits over the years include Star Trek: Nemesis, Bronson, Warrior, Mad Max: Fury Road and Legend. He currently stars on the FX series Taboo, and he'll appear in Dunkirk later this summer.
Ruben Fleischer is best known for directing 2009's Zombieland, the apocalypse comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson. He also helmed 2011's 30 Minutes or Less and 2013's Gangster Squad. Looking at that lineup, Fleischer clearly has experience directing action-heavy flicks, and while it's unlikely that Venom will have as much humor as some of his previous work given that it's aiming to be more of sci-fi/horror story, at least we can expect him to make Eddie Brock's solo adventure exciting.
Sony had plans to build a Spider-Man cinematic universe when the Amazing Spider-Man series was still running, but following The Amazing Spider-Man 2's underwhelming performance, the studio decided to reboot the character yet again, but this time work with Marvel and incorporate him into the MCU. With Tom Holland's Peter Parker now an integral player in this continually-expanding universe, Sony is now having its cake and eating it too by crafting a new kind of Marvel universe, only this time without Spider-Man actually being involved. Along with Venom, a Black Cat/Silver Sable movie is in development. No Venom plot details have been revealed yet, but just like the comics, it will revolve around Eddie Brock being taken by an alien symbiote that gives him incredible powers.
Venom will wreak havoc in theaters on October 5, 2018.