Sony Pictures has handed over the rights to Spider-Man back to Marvel Studios, but they still have exclusive rights to a ton of his villains, including the anti-hero Venom. With the good graces that Sony has bought themselves with Spider-Man: Homecoming, they’ve decided to give Venom his very own solo movie with Tom Hardy in the lead role. Better still, with Fox’s recent successes with R-rated superhero films, Sony has decided to give us a more violent and adult-oriented Venom film.
Venom is a character that fans have wanted an appropriate adaptation of for years, especially after the character of Venom was less than well-received last time he was on-screen in Spider-Man 3. Now that Sony finally has a chance to give audiences just that, the rumor mill has been turning like crazy. Sony has been very open with the details as they develop on Venom. A lot is still left up in the air, and a lot is being kept under wraps, but that doesn’t stop inside sources from leaking details, and it certainly won’t stop fans from speculating on the possible details. Here’s everything we know for sure about the Venom movie, and several rumors that have come out since the film was announced.
15. WE KNOW: TOM HARDY IS EDDIE BROCK
With movies like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and more recently, The Emoji Movie weighing down Sony Pictures’ reputation, there wasn’t a lot to be excited about for a standalone Venom movie until the announcement that Tom Hardy would be playing Eddie Brock, the original Venom. Not only is Tom Hardy an extremely talented actor, but he also has a tendency to pick really great roles in really excellent movies.
He’s a big name right now and has his choice of basically any kind of project he wants to take, so he doesn’t need to take a bad movie for an easy payday. This probably means that he really enjoyed the script that he read before signing on and has a lot of passion for making a great movie.
14. WE KNOW: IT WILL BE RATED R
Another piece of great news for the project is its R Rating. Since Fox’s success with R-rated superhero films like Deadpool and Logan, Sony is apparently itching to try this new formula out for themselves. It remains to be seen, however, if Sony can replicate the success Fox has had. Venom is most definitely a character that could thrive in an R-rated franchise, but only if it’s true to the character.
Venom isn’t known for his potty mouth like Deadpool, and sex hasn’t ever been central to the character. Venom is known for claiming that he eats the brains of his victims and murdering them in extremely merciless ways, so if Sony wants success, they should stick to the blood and violence, and above all, tell a good story.
13. WE KNOW: CARNAGE IS THE VILLAIN
If Tom Hardy’s casting wasn’t enough to get people excited about the movie, then announcing the villain that Spider-Man fans have been begging for sealed the deal. Especially after announcing that the film would be rated R, Carnage is one of the best decisions Sony could have possibly made in regards to the Venom movie.
Again, this is only presuming that they actually get the character right. Carnage is a sadistic psychopath whose only drive in life is to cause pain and chaos. This is one of those rare occasions when making a character relatable or sympathetic would be the absolute wrong direction to go in. Carnage should be a character that is genuinely frightening and unsettling to the audience, and one that could only be done justice if given an R rating.
12. WE KNOW: IT IS NOT A SPIDER-MAN SEQUEL
This isn’t Sony’s first rodeo in attempting to start up a Spider-Man franchise. It’s not even their first rodeo with the character of Venom. When Sony rebooted Spider-Man with The Amazing Spider-Man, their intention was to start up a major franchise that would ultimately lead to a Venom film and several other villain-centric films. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombed, those plans fell by the wayside for a while, until Sony made their deal with Marvel Studios to hand Spider-Man over.
Now that they’ve gotten some clout again, they want to pick up where they left off with their villain films, only this time, they’ll be starting from scratch. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t happen, and there will be no references to the events of previous Sony films.
11. WE KNOW: RUBEN FLEISCHER IS DIRECTING
If the announcement of Tom Hardy in a starring role wasn’t enough to get fans excited about a live-action Venom film, then the announcement of Ruben Fleischer as the director should certainly have done the job. Fleischer is probably most well-known as the director of Zombieland, proving that he has the ability to blend comedy and action, but he has also proved his chops directing R-rated action with 2013’s Gangster Squad.
In recent years, he has been more well-known for directing comedy television, which begs the question as to how comedic Sony intends to make Venom. He comes from Spider-Man’s universe, so the character is certainly no stranger to comedy, but the R-rating suggests a more serious tone. We’ll have to wait for the final result to find out.
10. WE KNOW: IT IS NOT PART OF THE MCU
Ever since it was announced by Sony, the Venom movie’s place within (or without) the Marvel Cinematic Universe seems to have constantly been in flux. In an infamous interview with Marvel Studios executive producer Kevin Feige, and Sony executive producer Amy Pascal, Pascal stated that one of the fun things about Venom was that it takes place in the same universe as Spider-Man: Homecoming and that there’s always a chance that Tom Holland will show up somewhere.
Kevin Feige looked notably confused during her comments and later went on to say that she had misspoken and that Tom Holland would not appear, nor would Venom ever appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as these were entirely separate universes. Pascal later went on to confirm those statements, so don’t expect more crossovers anytime soon!
9. WE KNOW: SPIDER-MAN WILL NOT APPEAR
Since that interview, the notion of Tom Holland appearing as Spider-Man has been shut down, but does that mean that no Spider-Man can make an appearance at all? After all, Sony still owns the rights to the character, so it’s likely that they would be well within their rights to put a CG version of Spider-Man in the background at some point, or even hire another actor to portray the web-slinger for their line of Spider-verse films.
Andrew Garfield’s contract with Sony was through 2020, so they could even bring back his version of Spider-Man if they were so inclined. However, director Ruben Fleischer and writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg have all stated that at least the first Venom film would have no appearance from Spider-Man in any capacity.
8. WE KNOW: IT BEGINS SONY’S MOVIE-VERSE
Every studio today is trying to copy the success of Marvel Studios by implementing their own cinematic universes, and Sony Pictures is no exception. They still maintain the rights to Spider-Man and all of his associated villains, but the deal with Marvel Studios only prevents them from having creative control on Spider-Man films. They plan to craft their own (but unconnected) universe with Spider-Man’s villains and allies.
The Sony Spider-verse will kick off with Venom and quickly be followed up by a Black Cat and Silver Sable team-up film titled Silver and Black. Down the line, Sony has announced plans for separate films following Spider-Man villains like Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter as well as the Sinister Six, and possibly other massive crossover films depending on the success of these attempts.
7. RUMOR: BLACK CAT AND SILVER SABLE WILL APPEAR
Marvel Studios has had almost a decade to build up their cinematic universe, and they know how to take their time in between massive crossovers, but studios who are just jumping on the boat now aren’t content to wait so long. That’s why the second film in the DC Extended Universe was a Batman/Superman crossover that also featured Wonder Woman with cameos by the rest of the Justice League.
If the rumors are true, then Sony won’t be wasting any time setting up their crossover universe either, and both Black Cat and Silver Sable will make appearances to set up their upcoming film, Silver and Black. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. Neither Black Cat nor Silver Sable has the kind of name recognition that Venom has, so bringing them in for Venom is a good way to build hype for the future.
6. RUMOR: FLASH THOMPSON WILL SHOW UP
Although Tom Hardy has been confirmed as the original Venom, Eddie Brock, rumors are circulating that other Venom hosts may be making appearances. One name in particular that has been showing up is Flash Thompson, one of the later incarnations of Venom who exclusively fights alongside the good guys as Agent Venom.
More recently there have been rumors that Eddie Brock’s ex-wife, Anne Weying will be featured in the movie, another one-time host of the Venom symbiote. Sony likely wants to be able to continue making Venom films for some time, so they may already be putting plans in place for the symbiote to eventually leave Eddie Brock and join up with another human host down the line, opening the door for a Venom: Spaceknight or Agent Venom film in the future.
5. RUMOR: OTHER SYMBIOTES?
Carnage was announced as the main antagonist for the Venom film, but rumors have been circulating that his origin will revolve around the Life Foundation, a classic antagonist against Venom in the comics. They first appeared in Venom: Lethal Protector in which the Life Foundation was initially just a boardroom of elite businessman who designed a bomb shelter to protect themselves from the end of civilization after discovering Venom, they forcibly created five symbiotes forcibly spawned from Venom: Agony, Phage, Riot,
After discovering Venom, they created five symbiotes forcibly spawned from Venom to take him out: Agony, Phage, Riot, Lasher and Scream. It would make sense for Sony to set up the Life Foundation in the first film, possibly teasing the creation of the other five symbiotes so that later films in the series can use the Life Foundation as the primary antagonists to Venom.
4. RUMOR: BASED ON LETHAL PROTECTOR
Along with the rumor that the Life Foundation will make an appearance in the live-action Venom movie is the news that the film will be heavily based on Venom’s most popular solo story, Venom: Lethal Protector by writer David Micheline and penciler Mark Bagley. This adaptation would make a lot of sense with the approach that Sony wants to take. The movie will be an R-rated Horror film, with no appearances by Spider-Man.
In Venom: Lethal Protector, Venom comes to a truce with Spider-Man and relocates to San Francisco to become a “Lethal Protector.” He encounters a hidden underground settlement inhabited by the homeless of San Francisco and learns that they’re being slowly exterminated by armed thugs hired by Roland Treece, a board member for the Life Foundation. When they learn of Venom, they create the five symbiotes to take Venom out.
3. RUMOR: ANDREW GARFIELD MAY HAVE A CAMEO
This could sound like a far-fetched rumor at first glance, but there are a few things that suggest it could be a possibility. First of all, we know that Spider-Man won’t make an appearance, however, plans were in place for a Venom solo spinoff film way back when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was still in production. After it was a critical failure, plans for a Venom movie along with the rest of their cinematic universe were put on hold.
However, Andrew Garfield is still under contract with Sony to appear in any in-universe film throughout 2020. Since Venom was fast-tracked for a 2018 release, Sony may be trying to strike while they still have their former Spider-Man under contract. It’s been confirmed that Spider-Man will not show up, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility of a cameo as a nod and a wink to his role as Sony’s Spider-Man.
2. RUMOR: KRAVEN AND MYSTERIO WILL SHOW UP
Now that the Spider-Man universe is a hot commodity again thanks to Sony Pictures’ deal with Marvel Studios, Sony has decided to throw everything they have at the wall to see what sticks, and that includes future plans for a Kraven the Hunter movie, as well as a Mysterio movie, all without the appearance of Spider-Man.
Just as Sony is planning to set up the future films of Black Cat and Silver Sable with appearances by those characters, rumors have been circulating that Venom will tease the future of Sony’s Villain universe with cameo appearances by Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. This is, of course, all setting up for Sony’s grand plan for Sinister Six, but it all remains to be seen if the plan can succeed with no Spider-Man.
1. RUMOR: GOTHAM’S JEROME WILL PLAY CARNAGE
A lot of actors’ names have been thrown around for the role of Carnage since the announcement that he would be the main antagonist against Venom in the film. Watchmen‘s Jackie Earle Haley, Firefly‘s Alan Tudyk, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith, Pedro Pascal and Matthias Schoenaerts have all been reportedly in talks for the role of the sadistic serial killer Cletus Cassidy.
While many of those names have been shut down by the actors themselves or their representation, one name that has continued to persist since the beginning is Cameron Monaghan who has most recently become well known for his role on Gotham as Jerome Valeska, a kind of pseudo-Joker character that shares a lot of parallels with the insanity and ruthlessness of Cletus Cassidy, Carnage.
What are you hoping to see (or not see)in a Venom movie? Let us know in the comments!
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