Tom Hardy will star as yet another supervillain. Sony Pictures announced on Twitter Friday that the actor who played the mumbling menace Bane in The Dark Knight Rises will portray Spider-Man adversary Eddie Brock, a.k.a. Venom, in the Venom movie, set to release Oct. 5, 2018.
Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is in talks to helm the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Spider-Man spinoff will kick off a series of Sony films based on characters the Spider-Man universe. The studio is reportedly also developing a Silver Sable and Black Cat project.
Those who gritted their teeth through Spider-Man 3 starring an emo Tobey Maguire may remember Venom and Eddie Brock, played in that movie by Topher Grace. Venom is not so much a person as a thing, an evil alien symbiote that needs a human host in order to survive. In the comics, Venom has infected many and imbued them with Spider-Man-like powers. In Spider-Man 3, Grace’s Eddie Brock was an envious rival to Peter Parker who, after being infected, donned a black suit and sported shark-like teeth.
Sony has talked about making Venom spinoff ever since Spider-Man 3 premiered in 2007. But the film stalled after Sony rebooted the Spider-Man series with Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger in 2012. The two Amazing Spider-Man films underperformed critically and commercially. In an attempt to revitalize the character, Sony struck a deal with Marvel Studios to collaborate on a new Spider-Man movie.
Marvel sold the film rights to its most famous properties, Spider-Man and The X-Men, in the 1990s when it was struggling. In the 2000s Marvel Studios (owned by Disney) didn’t have access to those characters and had to build a film franchise from lesser-known properties like Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel has been the most successful superhero studio, but head Kevin Feige was eager to pull the snarky Spidey into the Avengers team.
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