Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom is now just weeks away from hitting theaters - but fans will long remember that the actor isn't the first to try and take on the part. Instead, that honor belongs to Topher Grace, who played Venom in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3. That story admittedly doesn't have much of a happy ending, but at the very least Grace is as excited as anyone to see Hardy's upcoming performance:

To me --- I truly mean this --- I think Tom is the guy to play that role. I'm thrilled to watch it as a fan. I really mean that. I think he's just the best dude.

Topher Grace will be back on the big screen this weekend playing the extremely evil David Duke in Spike Lee's highly-anticipated and lauded BlacKkKlansman, and it was while speaking about the new movie with Inverse that the subject of Venom was raised. Grace was asked how he feels about Tom Hardy taking on the role that he once played - and clearly there is no ill-will on his part.

In case you don't remember too well, fans were not exactly enamored with Topher Grace's version of Eddie Brock/Venom - and that really started long before Spider-Man 3 hit theaters. The comic book character in question has always been drawn as bulky figure with huge muscles, and so from the very beginning fans were questioning Sam Raimi's decision to bring Grace on-board. The reality is that Raimi was trying to set up a mirror contrast between Eddie and Peter Parker, having the former come across as a "cooler" version of the latter, but things didn't exactly work out as planned.

According to reports, Sam Raimi's primary focus in the making of Spider-Man 3 was showcasing the villain Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), but he got pressured by the studio to include Venom as a character given his extreme popularity among comic book fans. This turned out to be a mistake, as the storyline still to this day feels very much jammed in and out of place in the finished film. Despite the blockbuster making a ton of money, ultimately it wound up killing the franchise, as Raimi's plans for Spider-Man 4 were nixed, and eventually Sony decided to reboot everything with the Amazing Spider-Man titles.

Everything with Spider-Man 3 went down over a decade ago, however, and now it's time to move on - specifically with a brand new cinematic version of Venom. The Ruben Fleischer-directed movie, which stars Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Michelle Lee in addition to Tom Hardy, arrives in theaters on October 5th - and we'll continue to have more and more in-depth coverage of the blockbuster as we get closer and closer to its upcoming release date.

SPOILERS: Venom End Credits Scene | What Happens, and What It Means

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