Tom Hardy is jumping back into the comic book genre as he will star in Venom as Eddie Brock, which will be directed by Ruben Fleischer. Hardy has already made one comic book villain famous thanks to his performance as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, but he has yet to be the star of his own mega-franchise. Sony has continued to try and kickstart its own Spidey universe outside of the MCU, and it looks like things are actually coming together.

Sony previously announced Venom by placing it on an October 2018 release date, but the probability of it hitting that date continued to seem unlikely with no star or director attached. Now, after also announcing a Black Cat & Silver Sable film, the studio has found the star of its Spidey offshoot universe.

Sony has announced that Tom Hardy has signed on to star as Eddie Brock in Venom. The project will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, who previously directed Zombieland and was in the mix for Suicide Squad 2. With both the star and director attached, the project looks to be in good position to move forward and lead Sony’s separate superhero cinematic universe.

As far as surprising announcements go, this is about as big as it gets. Not only is Venom actually moving forward, but Sony was able to snag one of the premier leads in Hollywood to take on this franchise. Even outside of his previous comic book movie role, Hardy has continued to show his talents and raised his star power with projects like Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. Now, it is on him to bring one of Marvel’s most beloved anti-heroes to the big screen in a proper way, and he’ll get to do it in an R-rated fashion.

This is not going to be Venom’s first appearance on the big screen thanks to his debut in Spider-Man 3, but it is universally agreed that it was not the best portrayal. Getting someone of Hardy’s ability will bring a level of dependability to the project and pairing him up with Fleischer should be a good decision. With production starting this fall, this is sure to be the first of many announcements regarding the Venom film.

That said, there are undoubtedly going to be some fans of the character that will be disappointed that this does not exist within the MCU and Tom Holland’s new portrayal of Spider-Man, but this gives Venom the ability to do its own thing without worrying how it fits into a larger continuity. Marvel Studios has made it clear they are not involved, so this will be Sony’s production alone – unlike how the studios are collaborating on Spider-Man: Homecoming. This could be worrisome to many based on Sony’s track record, but if that is put aside and this announcement is judged solely on the addition of Hardy and Fleischer, then there really isn’t much more fans could’ve asked for.

NEXT: Every Superhero Movie Arriving in 2018

Source: Sony Pictures

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