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Sony's 'Venom' movie may have no director, but it's now set for release in 2018

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No one expected Sony to announce that a Venom movie was coming to theaters in 2018, particularly when it doesn't have a final script, director, or cast yet.

Sony Pictures has tried to get a movie about Spider-Man’s popular nemesis Venom off the ground for almost 10 years now, but apparently the studio is feeling pretty confident these days about the project, as the film was just given an October 2018 release date.

Just after Warner Bros. Pictures announced that it was moving the premiere date for Aquaman from October 5 to December 21, Sony claimed the October date for Venom — a project that most industry experts didn’t even realize was still being developed. The announcement also revealed the movie’s writing team.

More: The Venom movie is back on, but Spider-Man may be a no-show

According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriters Scott Rosenberg (Pain & Gain) and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) penned the most recent draft of the film’s script. However, no director is attached to the project at this point — making the sudden announcement of a release date next year even more surprising.

Given the short time frame between now and October 5, 2018, Sony will likely have to move quickly on finding a director, finalizing the script, and putting a cast together in order to get cameras rolling in time to meet that deadline.

Sony’s announcement regarding Venom didn’t offer any details about the film’s plot or the direction the studio plans to take the character, who made his big-screen debut in 2007’s Spider-Man 3. With the latest version of Spider-Man firmly entrenched in Marvel’s cinematic universe, there’s a distinct possibility that this new incarnation of Venom might not be connected to the Spider-Man universe — which would seem a little strange, given the character’s ties to the famous webslinger.

First introduced (as an independent character) in a 1988 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, Venom started off as a telepathically controlled, alien costume that Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, acquired during an adventure on another planet. The costume eventually proved to be sentient, and after Peter discovered it trying to manipulate him, he rid himself of it — only to have it find another, all-too-willing host. The alien, which came to be known as a Symbiote, bonded with various characters over the years, giving them powerful abilities while also warping their minds due to its deadly obsession with Spider-Man.

With such a short timeline for Venom to go into production, we’ll likely hear more about the project in the near future. Until then, however, the new Spider-Man can be seen in July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, and a new, animated feature from Sony hitting theaters December 21, 2018, will also feature the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.