Welcome back to the world of comic book movies, Tom Hardy! Variety has reported that the Dunkirk actor has signed on to star as the titular anti-hero/villain in Sony’s Venom, a standalone film built around the character. Additionally, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer will helm the project, marking his first feature-length directorial gig since 2013’s Gangster Squad.
Soon after reports began surfacing, Sony confirmed the news by taking to Twitter and posting a picture of Hardy rocking a Venom T-shirt. The tweet announced a fall 2017 production start date and that the film will, in fact, be a part of Sony’s Marvel Universe, which includes a catalog of over 900 characters and exists separately from Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe. Check it out here…
After dropping out of J.C. Chandor’s Triple Frontier, Hardy was pursued by Sony for the role, given the gap in his schedule and the fact that Hardy has always been a huge fan of the character; the studio’s directorial search reportedly took a bit longer. Expect more casting announcements to come flooding in over the next few weeks.
Ever since he commanded the screen as Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy has expressed interest in returning to the superhero genre. In 2014, he even agreed to playRick Flag in DC’s Suicide Squad but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts; the role eventually went to actor Joel Kinnaman.
Fleischer, too, has been in the mix for several superhero projects, including 2015’s Ant-Man and Suicide Squad 2, the latter of which still does not have a director attached.
The existence of yet another Marvel movie universe (the third live-action film universe following the X-Men universe and aforementioned MCU), certainly opens up some interesting questions, perhaps the most pressing of which is how Sony will handle the Spider-Man situation. Does Spider-Man exist in Sony’s Marvel Universe, even though Tom Holland already plays the character in the MCU? Will Sony cast a new Spider-Man? What does a Venom movie without Spider-Man look like? We may have to wait until October 5th, 2018, when Venom hits theaters, for many of our questions to be answered.
What we do know, however, is that the film will likely take a page out of Fox’s handbook and aim for an R rating. Previous descriptions of the project have indicated that it will have elements of action, horror and sci-fi.
Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner will pen the script for the film, while Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal will produce.
Previously, Topher Grace played Eddie Brock/Venom in 2007’s Spider-Man 3.