It’s official. Tom Hardy is Venom and Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is taking the reins for the film about the Spider-Man anti-hero that will bow October 5th, 2018. The film is said to be one of Sony’s top priorities and they are moving aggressively to get it in the can and on the screen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story, the film “… is to usher in a host of movies from Sony’s Marvel and Spider-Man-based universe of characters.” They go on to add that Sony Pictures is “… also developing a Silver Sable/Black Cat project among other characters from the Spider-Man stable.”


But, what exactly does all of this actually mean? What exactly is Sony attempting to do?


Our first thought here is this: Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom is amazing. Brock, in the comics, is a photographer who hates Peter Parker because Parker is stealing work from him at the Daily Bugle. At the same time, Peter Parker is dealing with the new knowledge that his black suit is actually a living organism that is now corrupting him and taking him over — referred to as a symbiote in the comics. Parker learns that the symbiote is weakened by sharp, loud noises and is able to escape the suit, only for it to land on Eddie Brock who had followed Spider-Man to the church tower. Brock goes on to become a villain and plague Spider-Man for some time before eventually becoming a brooding and reluctant anti-hero.

So, Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock is a great choice. He’s tough, gritty, angry and willing to be the hero but only when he absolutely has to.

Then there’s Ruben Fleischer. Fleischer is a fun director. Zombieland was a fantastic film, filled with equal parts humor, gore and drama. Putting Fleischer on a Spider-Man film is an inspired choice, but this film, Venom, is not a Spider-Man film. Fleischer directing a Spider-Man film where Tom Hardy plays Venom as a villain — that would also work, but this film is also not that. This is a standalone Venom film about a dark, gritty vigilante anti-hero who’s unafraid to take lives to exact his twisted sense of justice or morality.

That being said, this is a confusing combination. This feels like bringing in a comedy director on a Wolverine movie and then having Logan do stand-up. Venom and Tom Hardy are both dark, Ruben Fleischer tends towards the lighter side, so to say that we’re unclear where this property is going is an understatement. And, please do not misunderstand me; this is by no means an indictment on either Hardy or Fleischer, nor is it one on Sony — this is simply an admission that these choices offer no real clarity of direction for the franchise.  

Speaking of the Spider-Man franchise, by all accounts this film, Venom, will exist in a universe divorced from Peter Parker. That is, Tom Holland as Spider-Man is not necessarily guaranteed to be in this film or any of the future films, Black Cat and Silver Sable being among them. In fact, it seems that Sony is planning on creating their own separate franchise with Tom Hardy at the center, free of any interference from Marvel Studios and therefore profit-sharing. In fact, with Venom at the center of this universe and the recent success of Deadpool and Logan, it’s entirely possible that Sony is planning a sort of Rated-R Spider-verse moving along a different track as their PG-13 Spider-Verse that will feature Tom Holland.

This does not necessarily equate to two completely different universes that never connect; rather, it means that though we may see Spider-Man enter into the world in some small capacity, he will be a peripheral character that goes relatively unused in these films or is of relatively little circumstance outside of giving the film a sort of blessing-by-appearance.

Dearest reader, please understand that this posting is, by no means, a moratorium on the film; we are not declaring this film DOA or a bad idea or any of the sort. Ruben Fleischer is a great director with the right material, Tom Hardy is an incredible actor and a fantastic and better-than-expected choice for Venom and the character of Venom, himself, is a really fun one that we fans have been dying to see done well on film for decades. So, to reiterate — 

Ruben Fleischer – A fun director with a very visual style and a solid understanding of horror by example of Zombieland.

Tom Hardy – An amazing choice and far better than we expected to get for this film. He’s Bane! He’s been nominated for Oscars! He’ll be an absolutely incredible Eddie Brock.

Venom — cheers to you Sony! We’re excited to see this character brought to life!

We love all of the constituent parts taken on their own and can see where each of them would deliver a great interpretation of Venom. Our confusion is mostly in the strange reaction we’ll get by combining these seemingly disparate chemicals.

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