Spider-Man supervillain/antihero Venom (depending on the context) is getting a solo live-action movie at long last, with Sony having claimed a Fall 2018 theatrical release date for the project. The film has been described as being a full-fledged science fiction and horror genre mashup (with a comic book superhero/villain twist) in recent updates – and the latest word on the subject suggests that Venom might even be an R Rated cinematic launchpad, at that.
Venom currently does not have a director officially attached, though a fresh script draft is reportedly being put together by writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg (who also co-wrote Sony’s upcoming Jumanji sequel/reboot). An earlier script draft for the Venom film was put together by Dante Harper, who also co-wrote this year’s addition to the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant. Based on this new report, at least the tone of Harper’s Venom script draft will be carried over into the final movie version.
Collider has the scoop on Venom‘s would-be rating, with their exclusive update further affirming fan speculation that Venom isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. Instead, the current plan is for Venom to launch Sony’s own Marvel universe, independent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming is part of – as well other Marvel Comics-based film universes (see 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movie/TV universe).
The question of how Venom connects with Spider-Man: Homecoming (if at all) has seemingly been answered, should this new update prove to be accurate. This would also mean that Tom Holland’s web-slinger won’t be appearing in the Venom spinoff either, raising the question of whether any Spider-Man exists within the new Sony Marvel universe. It’s certainly possible that a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man will exist in the latter, as is confirmed to be the case with Sony’s developing animated Spider-Man movie (featuring the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man).
With Silver Sable and Black Cat movies also moving forward at Sony right now, the implication is that the studio’s Marvel universe will be composed primarily (if not entirely) of the antiheroes and villains from the Spider-Man comic book franchise. An R-Rated Venom spinoff would establish a predominantly adult tone for said Sony Marvel universe, further setting it apart from the MCU (which is decidedly PG-13, on the movie side). Sony would be aiming to tap into the same demand for R-Rated superhero movies that Fox’s Deadpool and Logan have over these past two years, in the process of doing so.
A Sony Marvel universe along these lines would stand apart as something unique and distinct from its peers, with the caveat that fans wouldn’t be able to see Holland’s Spider-Man interact with the new big screen versions of Venom and Black Cat. Sony’s previous vision for an independent Marvel film universe (one including both a Venom solo film and a Sinister Six team-up movie) never came to fruition – question is, will the story turn out different, this time around?