It’s official: Cameras are finally rolling on a Venom movie for Sony Pictures. The studio has been trying to get a film based on the symbiote comics character off the ground for years, with Zombieland and Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick writing the first script back in the late 2000s. Directors like Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), Josh Trank (Fantastic Four), and Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) were attached to take the helm at one time or another, and at one point Venom was part of an ambitious plan that connected to the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man movies. But after that interconnected universe was scrapped Sony went back to the drawing board, and a brand new iteration of the Venom movie was born.
Ironically enough, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer—whose other credits include Gangster Squad and 30 Minutes or Less—is at the helm of this Venom movie and Sony scored a major coup in landing Tom Hardy for the lead role. We don’t know much about this R-rated take on the Spider-Man comics character, but Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man), and Scott Rosenberg (High Fidelity) wrote the script and the wildly impressive ensemble cast includes Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, and Jenny Slate. The villain will reportedly be Carnage.
This set photo doesn’t show Hardy in makeup or costume, but is instead simply a tease of the start of production taking place in New York City. Venom is part of an effort from Sony Pictures to build out its own superhero universe using Spider-Man comics characters who aren’t Spider-Man. Yes indeed, this Venom movie and the upcoming Silver & Black will not take place in the same universe as Spider-Man: Homecoming and its sequel, as the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies are a co-production with Marvel Studios and take place within the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe. So as long as Peter Parker is running around with Iron Man and Captain America, there will be no crossover with Spider-Man himself in these Sony-produced spinoff movies like Venom.