When Sony announced their intentions to move forward with their long-gestating Venom spin-off, and that it wouldn’t be connected to the Spider-Man who appears in this Summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, AND that it would be aiming for a 2018 release date, most guessed this was just more smoke in the never-ending production hell this project has languished.

Well, it just got one step closer to reality, as Variety reports that former Bane actor (and almost Rick Flag in Suicide Squad) Tom Hardy has signed on to play Eddie Brock in a film directed by Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer. Apparently, after Hardy dropped out of upcoming thriller Triple Frontier, Sony struck and got the formidable thespian to take on the role of the disgraced journalist who bonds with an alien symbiote, of which both have a serious grudge against Spider-Man.

Now, presuming the reports of this film still not being connected to the current Spider-Man appearing in the Marvel Studios’ co-produced film are still accurate, I’ll be curious to see just how Venom’s origin works without the Peter Parker catalyst…perhaps I like the appropriate imagination, but I’m having trouble putting it together. Hopefully, it won’t be an issue and this version of Venom (with a script co-written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner), will keep its Spidey mythos intact in some, even minor, way.

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Venom is aiming to be released on October 5, 2018.

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