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

Now that Spider-Man’s big-screen future is arranged, it was only a matter of time before Sony Pictures turned its attention to one of the webslinger’s greatest foes and the most likely spinoff movie candidate, Venom.

A new report claims that the Marvel Comics antihero is once again the subject of a potential solo movie, but it’s unlikely that this iteration of Venom will have any cinematic connection to the new Spider-Man. The script for the film is reportedly being penned by Edge of Tomorrow screenwriter Dante Harper.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Venom movie is being produced by longtime Spider-Man stewards Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, and is being envisioned as the start of a new franchise not connected to the upcoming, still-untitled Spider-Man reboot co-produced by Sony and Marvel Studios.

Created by David Michelinie, Mike Zeck, and Todd McFarlane, Venom debuted in a 1988 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man and quickly became a fan-favorite enemy of Peter Parker and his costumed alter ego. A sentient alien that bonds with a host entity and gives its host powerful abilities, Venom was first introduced as a new costume Peter Parker discovered on a far-off planet, only to have Peter forcibly remove the costume when it began influencing his actions and his mind. The alien subsequently bonded with various other characters in the Marvel Comics universe, with differing results — often creating a new, powerful villain with a hatred for Spider-Man.

The most recent incarnation of Venom is the character’s most heroic to date, with the alien bonding with Peter Parker’s former high-school classmate and war hero Flash Thompson, and Flash gaining enough mastery over the alien to use the powers it grants him for noble purposes. It’s unknown which iteration of Venom will be the inspiration for the film.

Venom appeared in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, with Topher Grace portraying the alien’s human host, photographer Eddie Brock.

Venom movie has been in development for almost a decade now, with various writers, directors, and plans for the project being announced then subsequently scrapped over time. At one point, Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese were attached to the film, only to have it stall out after The Amazing Spider-Man franchise was abandoned.

There’s no word on the timeline the studio envisions for the Venom movie.