After the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy came to an end, Sony relaunched the property in 2012 with Andrew Garfield in the lead. In an effort to quickly build out a universe that could compete with the established Marvel Cinematic Universe, Amazing Spider-Man 2 was packed with characters around whom a cinematic universe could be built, but the franchise instead imploded. Now, Tom Holland has taken up the mantle and joined the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, before getting his own solo movie Spider-Man: Homecoming later this year.
Throughout the process of Spider-Man joining his fellow Marvel heroes, however, reports surfaced that Sony had a number of potential ideas for other Spider-Man-related properties to make their way to the big screen, one of them being a Venom solo movie. Though Sony's the partnership with Marvel Studios made many presume such a spinoff was off the table, it appears the studio is moving forward with the film after all.
Exhibitor Relations reports that Sony has given Venom a 2018 release date on its schedule, and that Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy) will helm the project. More specifically, the movie will come out on October 5, 2018. If that date sounds familiar, that is because Aquaman was set to come out then, but just announced a move to December. At the moment, it is unclear if this will be part of the existing MCU continuity, or simply a Venom movie that does not connect with any other Spider-Man lore.
Watch out, Spider-man. VENOM is now part of the release calendar web as Sony has slated the Spidey spinoff for October 5, 2018.
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) March 16, 2017
UPDATE: Per Sony, Kurtzman is not involved and no director has officially signed on for the Venom film. However, Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, who wrote Dwayne Johnson's Jumanji, have been tapped to pen the script.
If this date is accurate, it should soon become clear what Sony's plans for the film are. Now that audiences have experienced Spider-Man within the MCU, a Venom film outside that cinematic universe may be a tough sell. However, Sony still has the rights to the Spider-Man property, so if the studio is determined to make a Venom movie that exists as its own entity it can.
A 2018 premiere date will mean three consecutive years of Spider-Man-related movies in theaters – which doesn’t include his appearance in Civil War. 2017 has Homecoming and the sequel has already been dated for 2019. Additionally, the animated Spider-Man movie starring Miles Morales also comes out in December of 2018, which means Sony would have an opportunity to wedge its Venom film in while the character is presumably hot -- provided his upcoming solo film performs as well as expected.
The choice of Kurtzman as director may turn heads as well -- though possibly for the wrong reasons. Still, his involvement as a writer on ASM2 suggests he has at least some knowledge of the studio's plans to expand the Spiderverse, and would therefore be a logical candidate for the spinoff. He also has an upcoming summer tentpole under his directorial belt with The Mummy, so presuming that film is a hit, Kurtzman may find himself repositioned as a key architect in two cinematic universes. At any rate, given the character's popularity amongst comic book fans and his proximity to the Spider-Man franchise, more news regarding Venom will likely be right around the corner.
Venom will debut in U.S. theaters on October 5, 2018.
Source: Exhibitor Relations
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