Tom Hardy is quite grateful to have roles in both Marvel and DC movies, now that he's portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises and Eddie Brock in this fall's Venom solo film. The actor likewise (jokingly) identifies as being a "mercenary" who has no stake in the so-called rivalry between the two comic book giants.
An Oscar-nominee, Hardy has carved out a niche for himself as a character actor who's comfortable oscillating between roles in prestigious fare (in both film and television) and often high-minded, yet otherwise crowd-pleasing tentpoles. Nevertheless, Venom marks an interesting turning point in Hardy's career, in the sense that it's his first time headlining a comic book adaptation and not playing a supporting part in one (a la his role as Bane in Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy finale). Director Ruben Fleischer's Spider-Man spinoff could further wind up giving Hardy his first full-blown franchise an a A-lister - assuming the indefinitely delayed Mad Max: Fury Road sequel doesn't suddenly roar back to life.
For his part, Hardy is staying humble and just happy to have gotten to play DC villains, Marvel antiheroes, and characters like Max Rockatansky. In an interview with Total Film magazine to promote Venom's upcoming release, Hardy said as much and joked about the idea that he's playing both sides in the "battle" between Marvel and DC:
"I'm quite mercenary. [Laughs] I'm not a fully paid up member of any group. It's really awesome to have played in both camps. It's a real honour. And I got really cool ones. I got Bane and Venom, and I've got Mad Max as well. I've got some nice cosplay under my belt, some cosplay scalp, as it were..."
If nothing else, Hardy's turn as Eddie Brock promises to be a far cry from his work as Bane, in several respects. Whereas the actor gained a substantial amount of muscle in order to play the latter - who's more of a straightforward antagonist than the former - he didn't even wear a mo-cap suit to play Venom, at the end of the day. Similarly, The Dark Knight Rises' version of Bane is (like the rest of Nolan's Batman movie trilogy) relatively grounded in style and serious in tone, unlike the quasi-horror-comedy vibe that Hardy and Fleischer seem to be going for with Venom - a film that promises to walk the line between a PG-13 and R-rating, even more than Dark Knight Rises did.
As for the Marvel vs. DC matter: Hardy is but the latest creative actively involved with either company (or, in his case, both of them) to laugh off the idea of their "war" with one another. Obviously, the pair are competing with each other for comic book sales and box office returns, but they've long avoided trying to directly challenge one another, especially when it comes to their movies. As such, it's nice to hear that Hardy appreciates having the freedom to collaborate with the pair of them, much like fans are allowed to support (or not support) either or both companies, however they deem fit.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018