Earlier this year, it was reported that Sony was moving ahead with its Spider-Man spinoff focusing on the alien parasite Venom. It has now been announced that the movie will star Tom Hardy.
The studio confirmed that Hardy will play Eddie Brock in the film, which is set to hit theaters in October 2018 and begins shooting this fall. In Marvel’s comic books, Brock is a photographer and rival to Peter Parker, who becomes a host for the parasite and sets about to destroy him.
Sony announced Hardy’s involvement with a photo of the actor wearing a Venom T-shirt:
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) May 19, 2017
This isn’t the first time that Hardy has played a villainous role in a superhero movie–in 2012 he portrayed Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. He will reunite with Nolan this summer in the World War 2 adventure Dunkirk.
Venom will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, who previously helmed the horror comedy Zombieland. It is unknown if there will be any connection between Venom and this year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony holds the movie rights to Spider-Man and associated characters, and Marvel had to strike a deal with it to allow Spidey to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Homecoming and last year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Plans for a Venom movie actually predate the Marvel deal, and the film was originally intended to be part of the ongoing Spider-Man franchise that starred Andrew Garfield. That series ended after just two movies. Venom previously appeared in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, in which Eddie Brock was played by Topher Grace.