Before the project was dusted off early this year and slapped with an October 2018 release date, the idea for a standalone Venom movie had been in development hell for almost a decade. With Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer currently sitting in the director’s chair, and Tom Hardy returning to his villainous ways to portray the eponymous character, it looks like production on Venom is finally off to a promising start.
But for fans of the source material, there’s still a lot of apprehension surrounding the project.
For starters, a “superhero” movie with a villain cast as the lead is already a big enough gamble. Add to that to the complicated deal between Marvel and Sony, which will likely result in Spider-Man -- the yin to Venom’s yang -- being totally absent from the film.
While that certainly doesn’t mean that Venom is doomed from the start, it does means the filmmakers are going to have to get extra creative in order to combat the logistical deck that’s stacked against them.
With Venom currently in principal photography, Tom Hardy and co. are letting bits of information about the film slip through the cracks, prompting fans to try and figure out if the film is indeed on the right track.
:et’s take a closer look at 8 Venom Movie Rumors We Hope Are True (And 8 We Hope Aren’t).
16 True: It will be Rated R
Ever since Fox’s massive success with the foul-mouthed Deadpool and brutally violent Logan, the idea of turning out an adult-oriented comic book movie doesn’t seem like such a giant risk. Therefore, it looks like Sony will also be taking the same leap with Venom, a story that really lends itself to an R-rating.
Although Venom was created to be a part of the often light-hearted Spider-Man comics, the supervillain is far from kid-friendly, taking many innocent lives throughout his time in the comics and even contributing to his ex-wife's suicide.
Suffice it to say, a film adaptation that honors the source material would already result in an R-rating, and we only hope that the filmmakers don’t try to gloss over the fact that even without the symbiote, Eddie Brock is still far from a decent human being.
15 False: It connects to the MCU
While President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige has been explicit about Venom not being a part of the MCU, Sony has been notably ambiguous about the issue. Even though Jon Watts, director of Spider-Man: Homecoming and its planned sequel, said that his movies have no intention of connecting to Venom, Sony mentioned that the movies will all exist within the same Marvel comics universe, even if they’re not all apart of the MCU. Confusing much?
While this is likely a move to try and capitalize on the success of Marvel Studios by making fans believe that Venom could fit into the continuity of that universe, we only hope that Sony is more interested in making a solid standalone film rather than trying to shoulder it into an already established franchise.
14 True: It kicks off Sony’s Marvel Universe
If you’re someone who isn’t bothered by the idea of having two fractured Marvel universes on the big screen, then you can already start getting excited for more of Spider-Man’s allies and enemies to appear in their own solo movies in the coming years.
While Venom is currently the only movie that’s filming, Sony has already set a release date for Silver and Black, which will hit theaters early 2019. The studio has also announced two other projects that will exist within the same shared universe: Nightwatch and Morbius the Living Vampire.
Although little is known about these movies as of yet, it looks like the Sony-verse could be taking on more of a gothic and horror vibe, which could be just the thing it needs to distinguish itself from the MCU and DCEU.
13 False: Black Cat and Silver Sable will appear
If you’ve been paying close attention to the development of Venom, then there’s a good chance that you’ve also caught wind of Silver and Black, another Sony project that will center on two more of Spider-Man’s foes: Silver Sable and Black Cat.
While little is known about the film as of yet, it already has an expected release date of February 8, 2019 — which is only four short months after Venom is slated to hit theaters.
Might these two lesser-known characters get a cameo in the film? It’s quite possible, though we do fret at the idea of Venom getting bogged down with too many character introduction (a la Batman v Superman).
If Sony is adamant about getting people excited for future projects like Silver and Black, we’re hoping it comes in the form of a post-credit scene that has little bearing on the film’s plot.
12 True: Carnage is the villain
If you’re going to cast a murderous and morally-ambiguous character like Venom as your film’s hero, then you’re going to need a far more despicable character for him to face-off against. Enter Carnage — a villain who derives pleasure from causing others pain, and who feels no remorse for his actions.
Though Spider-Man fans have long wanted a big screen incarnation of this character, it’s probably for the best that Carnage gets his debut in Venom, where the darker tone and R-rating could really do him justice.
Sony has already confirmed that Carnage will indeed debut in the film, though the extent of his role is unknown at this time. But even just by stating that Carnage will appear — and not just his human counterpart, Cletus Kasady — audiences can already get excited about more than one symbiote showing up in the film.
11 False: Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man will appear
Ever since Sony and Marvel struck their current Spider-Man deal — resulting in Peter Parker’s debut into the MCU — Andrew Garfield’s turn playing the web-slinger seemed totally kaput.
This didn’t come as particularly surprising news, as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was received poorly by both audiences and critics, marking it the second time that a Sony Spider-Man franchise just seemed to fizzle out.
But now that Sony is continuing to explore the Spider-verse, is it possible that Garfield could return to the role of Peter Parker? While the odds seem slim to none, the actor’s contract with Sony is reportedly good through 2020, meaning it might not be a totally impossible task.
Even if it's doable, Sony would only be reminding audiences of an otherwise failed franchise, while also destroying the illusion that Venom could still co-exist alongside the MCU.
10 True: Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will not appear
Although most fans are excited at the chance to see Venom back on the big screen (especially after the botched depiction of the character in Spider-Man 3), it’s still a bit of a let down that Spider-Man will almost certainly not appear in the film.
That hasn’t stopped some from speculating that Tom Holland will somehow make a cameo in Venom. While Kevin Feige has repeatedly shot down any possibility of this happening, Sony continues to leave the door open. The studio would almost certainly jump at the chance to bring one of the MCU’s freshest faces into its franchise should the opportunity arise.
But we don’t see Marvel Studios letting go of their creative control anytime soon, meaning that this is one possibility that will luckily never come to pass.
9 False: It changes Eddie Brock’s backstory
With Garfield and Holland out, the question remains as to how Sony will pull off a Venom origin story without the appearance of Spider-Man.
From recent set photos, it looks like the filmmakers will be circumnavigating this problem by also adopting elements of Agent Venom, which means there’s a good chance that Eddie Brock will actually take many of his traits from Flash Thompson. While this is nothing new for a comic book movie -- which often features older characters in updated storylines -- it is a slight cause for concern considering how drastically different Eddie and Flash are.
While both characters have had their fair share of time with the symbiote, Eddie Brock is ultimately fueled by his everlasting hatred for Spider-Man while Flash Thomspon eventually comes to worship him, which could make for a very convoluted movie if the filmmakers aren't careful.
8 True: It takes place in San Francisco
As if getting a Venom project off the ground wasn’t already hard enough, production on the film was reportedly delayed a couple of months so they could continue to scout additional filming locations. While the movie was originally going to shoot in New York and Atlanta, they’ve since expanded to San Francisco.
Since Spider-Man has long been synonymous with New York City, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep Venom in the same city if the web-slinger can’t drop in for a cameo. On top of that, we’ve already seen a ton of superhero movies set in New York, and it would be a welcome change of pace if Venom commits to the San Franscisco setting-change that takes place in the comics.
7 False: Flash Thompson will appear
Although Eddie Brock will always be the original Venom, the symbiote has joined with plenty of others hosts throughout the comics, including Peter Parker’s foe-turned-friend Flash Thompson.
If Sony ever wants to continue making Venom movies without Tom Hardy, it might be in their best interest to start introducing other characters who could eventually take up the Venom mantle. But since it looks like Eddie Brock may be adopting some of Flash’s characteristics in the movie, it would only confuse things more to introduce both characters into the same universe, let alone the same film.
On top of that, Tony Revolori is currently playing a version of Flash in the MCU, and it would probably be best if Venom steered clear of any possible overlap as to not make things any more convoluted then they already are.
6 True: It’s based on “Lethal Protector” and “Planet of Symbiotes”
It’s long been rumored that the film will adapt the Venom: Lethal Protector series, which was a six-issue story-arc that found Venom relocating to San Francisco after forming a truce with Spider-Man.
More recently, director Ruben Fleisher has also cited Planet of the Symbiotes as an inspiration for the film as well, which focuses on Venom’s rivalry with the serial killer Cletus Kasady, who later becomes the supervillain Carnage.
While we’re unsure of what elements will be taken from each story arc, this is welcome news for fans of the character, as Lethal Protector was the first series to portray Venom as an anti-hero rather than an outright villain. Meanwhile, the conflict between Venom and Carnage in Planet of the Symbiotes would make for the perfect rivalry during Venom's first solo-outing.
5 False: Kraven and Mysterio will appear
As if having four Spider-Man spin-off movies in the works wasn’t already enough, earlier this year there were whispers that Sony was also developing projects about Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio.
These two Spider-Man villains have yet to be brought to life on the big screen, though they were previously rumored to appear in a Sinister Six film that would have been a direct spinoff from The Amazing Spider-Man series. Now that those plans have long been scrapped, it looks like Sony may be looking to give many of these characters there own solo movies before teaming them up.
While this comes as welcome news considering how overstuffed Suicide Squad wound up becoming, we only hope that Venom doesn’t preoccupy itself with trying to work in too many character cameos.
4 True: Woody Harrelson will play a henchman
As if the cast of Venom wasn’t already stellar enough, news that Woody Harrelson may also be joining the project began to make its rounds. Much like Tom Hardy, Harrelson is one of those actors who always turns in a captivating performance, and he can play anything from the hero to the villain to the comic relief.
While Harrelson's IMDb page still maintains that he is only “rumored” to appear in Venom, multiple outlets have already reported that he’s been cast to play a henchman in the film. Adding credence to the runmor is the fact that Harrelson starred in Venom director Ruben Fleischer's first film, Zombieland.
This would be far from the first franchise film that Harrelson has signed on for, as he appeared in The Hunger Games films, the Planet of the Apes prequel series, as well as the upcoming Hans Solo film. We’d be more than excited about the possibility of Harrelson becoming a staple in Sony’s Spider-verse.
3 False: Riz Ahmed will play Carnage
If Harrelson is only appearing as a henchman, who will be portraying the film’s villain? While there have been plenty of rumors of actors such as Watchmen’s Jackie Earle Haley and Gotham’s Jerome Will being eyed for the role of Carnage, as of right now, there are rumors Ahmed will be playing the serial killer/symbiote.
Up until this point in his career, Ahmed is largely known for playing characters who are often out of their element or in over their head, which doesn’t mesh with Carnage at all -- a character who has no apprehension about the terrible things he does.
While Ahmed is indeed a talented actor, who appeared alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in 2014’s Nightcrawler, as Bodhi Rook in last year's Rogue One, and won a Golden Globe for his performance in The Night Of, we can’t help but feel as though he’d be miscast in the role of Cletus Kasady/Carnage.
2 True: It introduces the Life Foundation
The Life Foundation first appeared back in issue #298 of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 as an evil organization focused on surviving a nuclear holocaust at any cost, which putting them at constant odds with both Spider-Man and Venom. They would go on to play an important role in the Lethal Protector series, where they sought to destroy Venom while also harnessing the power of the symbiote for their own personal gain.
While we’d love the conflict between Venom and Carnage to be at the forefront of the film, establishing the Life Foundation early could set them up to be a menacing presence in future Sony films. Not to mention that the concept of an elitist group solely focused on protecting themselves in the midst of nuclear war could easily make the jump from its original Cold War origins in the comics to the film’s present-day setting.
1 False: Multiple symbiotes will appear
In the comics, the Life Foundation is successful in using Venom to create five other symbiotes — Agony, Lasher, Riot, Phage, and Scream — who they eventually use to try and destroy Venom.
While we’re excited at the prospect of Venom and Carnage facing off on the big screen, introducing an entire army of symbiotes might be too much right out of the gate. Of course, there’s an easy fix to this, which could involve the Life Foundation simply using Venom to create Carnage.
However the filmmakers decide to tackle the situation, we can only hope that they know not to crowd the film with too many villains, or they’ll only repeat the mistakes of both Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
What do you hope to see in Venom? Let us know in the comments!