Now that Spider-Man: Homecoming is officially a box office hit, Sony is busy planning a slew of Spider-Man spinoffs. First up: a film centering on the Marvel villain, Venom. Though the movie isn’t set to hit theaters until 2018, details about its cast and plot are already starting to surface. Here are eight new spoilers we just learned about the upcoming Venom flick.
1. Tom Hardy will star
Sony Pictures has tapped Tom Hardy to star as Spider-Man adversary Venom in the upcoming solo movie. Though there have been many incarnations of the Venom Symbiote in the comics, the forthcoming film will focus on that of Eddie Brock, a disgraced journalist who — after accusing the wrong man of a crime — comes into contact with an alien Symbiote rejected by Peter Parker. The Symbiote bonds with him and they become Venom, together seeking out revenge against their mutual enemy.
In the comics, Brock repeatedly comes into conflict with Spider-Man, although he also attempts to operate as a hero at times, albeit a violent one.
The casting of Hardy was won high praise from fans, serving as an assurance to many that the movie is off to a strong start. This won’t be the actor’s first foray into comic book territory. He previously portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
2. Carnage will be the big bad
As previously stated, Venom toes the line between hero and villain. Though he’s served as a protector against threats at times, he’s also considered a classic name in Spider-Man’s Rogues Gallery. So it only makes sense that the movie feature an antagonist that remains firmly in evil territory.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise Sony has named Carnage as the big bad in Venom, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As fans know, Carnage is also an alien Symbiote, similar to Venom. But in this case, the Symbiote bonds with an evil, severely unstable serial killer named Cletus Kasady, resulting in the villain known as Carnage.
Casting for the role of Carnage has yet to be announced, although several names, including Gotham’s Cameron Monaghan and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, have thrown their hat into the ring.
3. Spider-Man will not appear
Though new Spider-Man Tom Holland has expressed enthusiasm at the possibility of working with Tom Hardy, it’s already been confirmed that his version of Spidey will not be appearing in Venom.
Venom’s origin is obviously closely linked to Peter Parker, so it’s unclear how the movie will address this without actually including Holland’s iteration of the character. Perhaps the film will skip the complete retelling of the villain’s origin or merely allude to Spider-Man by name. We’ll have to wait to find out for sure.
4. It will be unrelated to previous Spider-Man storylines
Spider-Man fans will remember that Eddie Brock was previously portrayed by Topher Grace in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, starring Tobey Maguire. That movie, including Grace’s version of the character, did not go over well with either fans or critics.
Given that, it’s no surprise that the new movie won’t have anything to do with either the previous Venom or the more recent The Amazing Spider-Man films. Instead, it will focus on an entirely original storyline with a new cast.
5. Ruben Fleischer will direct
Ruben Fleischer has been recruited to direct the forthcoming Venom movie. Fleischer is best known as the director of Zombieland and also helmed comedy 30 Minutes or Less and the neo-noir crime thriller, Gangster Squad.
Given this background, fans can likely expect to see a mix of gory action and potentially some laughs.
Rounding out the creative team are Jeff Pinkner (Lost, Amazing Spider-Man 2, and The Dark Tower) and Scott Rosenberg (Gone in 60 Seconds) who are set to co-write the script. The two share writing duties on the series Zoo and also teamed up on the screenplay for the new Jumanji.
6. Venom won’t be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has made it clear that Venom — and any of Sony’s planned Spider-Man spinoffs — won’t be considered part of the MCU.
That also explains why Holland’s version of the web-slinger won’t be in the Venom movie. While his Spider-Man exists in the same world as the Avengers and Marvel’s other well-known characters, Feige suggests that Venom doesn’t.
7. It will most likely be rated R
A rating for the Venom movie has yet to officially be announced, although reports have indicated that Sony is pursuing an R rating for the film. Given that Venom is a violent protagonist who will battle an even more evil antagonist, a higher rating seems suitable.
Plus, Fox recently had big success with the R-rated Deadpool and Logan, so it makes sense that Sony would want to try it.
8. It will kick off Sony’s Marvel universe
Though Venom isn’t part of the MCU, it will mark the beginning of a new slate of movies from Sony featuring a variety of Marvel characters. Along with the Venom movie, the studio is reportedly planning several other solo spinoff films for famous comic book villains, including Silver & Black, which will focus on Silver Sable and Black Cat, and additional projects on Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio.
The plan is for Sony to build its Marvel-inspired world out gradually, with the solo films potentially leading to a Sinister Six film.
Venom is set to open in theaters on Oct. 5, 2018.