As Spider-Man prepares to aid the other heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Avengers: Infinity War, Sony Pictures is moving forward with its standalone Venom movie. So far, only one actor is attached to the horror-centric comic book movie: Tom Hardy, who will play Eddie Brock, who turns into the eponymous protagonist. Now Hardy's second co-star is reportedly being lined up, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Riz Ahmed is currently eyed to join Venom.
Riz Ahmed is in "early talks" to board Venom, and while Variety's report said that he would play a "popular Marvel Comics character," no specific details about said character were provided. However, THR states that Ahmed would not be playing Carnage, the confirmed main antagonist, in the movie, although he was supposedly up for that role before changes were made to the script. Doctor Who's Matt Smith, Narcos' Pedro Pascal and The Danish Girl's Matthias Schoenaerts are also apparently up for the same part.
2016 was a big year for Riz Ahmed. He'd already earned accolades for his performance as Rick in the Jake Gyllenhaal-led thriller Nightcrawler back in 2014, but last year saw him achieving worldwide fame for playing Bodhi Rook in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first of the Star Wars Anthology spinoffs. His other notable credits include playing Aaron Kalloor in Jason Bourne and starring as Nasir Khan in the HBO miniseries The Night Of, the latter for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy. Ahmed was also reportedly in the mix to play Aladdin in Disney's upcoming live action remake of the 1992 animated movie, but that role ended up going to Mena Massoud. It's hard to predict who Ahmed's Venom character would be even if we just consider characters from the Spider-Man "family" (which Sony has the film rights to), but it certainly would have been cool to see him playing Cletus Kasady, the serial killer who will eventually become Carnage.
No official plot details have been revealed about the Venom movie yet other than it will see the symbiote-enhanced Eddie Brock battling Carnage. Since Venom will not cross over with Tom Holland's version of Spider-Man, the movie will come up with a new origin story for the symbiote (be it alien or manmade) and how it attaches itself to Eddie. It's also rumored that Eddie's ex-wife Ann Weying (who briefly becomes She-Venom in the comics) will appear. Director Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame has said that Venom is aiming for an R rating, and that it will have a horror tilt.
Venom will wreak havoc in theaters on October 5, 2018.