Tom Hardy to star and Ruben Fleischer to direct upcoming 'Venom' film

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Tom Hardy seems to be everywhere these days. Not only has the actor inherited the role of Mad Max’s Max Rockantansky and had prominent roles in Christopher Nolan’s recent films, including the upcoming Dunkirk, but he is now about to join Sony Picture’s (re)rebooted Spider-Man franchise as one of the series’ most popular characters.

Hardy is in final negotiations to star as the titular villain (antihero?) of Sony’s upcoming Venom, which will be part of the studios reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise, which kicks off with Spider-Man: Homecoming. The announcement was made on Sony Picture’s official Twitter account, tweeting out a picture of Hardy rocking a Venom T-shirt. Along with the casting news, it has also been confirmed Ruben Fleischer (Santa Clarita Diet) is also in final talks to direct the film.

While this marks Hardy’s first foray into the Marvel universe, he is no stranger to comic book villainy. The actor portrayed the muscled mercenary Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, and his muscular build makes sense for the violence-prone brute, Venom.

It remains to be seen exactly which incarnation of Venom that Hardy will portray. The character was first introduced in 1988 as a symbiotic alien inhabiting the body of Eddie Brock and quickly became one of the most popular figures in Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery. Since then, the character has has a storied career in the comics villain, with the mantle passing to various other characters, inlcuding Peter Parker’s high school bully Flash Thompson. Venom has gone from villain, anti-hero, to full-blown hero and back, with turns as a special agent, and even recently holding a position on the Guardians of the Galaxy team. With such a varied well to draw from, we are excited to see where Hardy and Fleischer take the character.

Despite the character’s long history and popularity among comic book fans, Venom’s has had a less successful film career. The only appearance of the character came in the middling Spider-Man 3 directed by Sam Rami, with Topher Grace’s take on the character earning mixed reception from fans. Hopefully Sony learned from its past missteps and will be able to deliver a film worthy of the character’s legacy.

While further details about the upcoming film are sparse at best — include what other characters may show up in the film — Sony is aiming for an October 5, 2018 release, and production is slated to begin in fall, so it’s only a matter of time until we know more.

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