‘Venom’: Everything You Need to Know About Tom Hardy’s Supervillain Movie

Does the world need another superhero franchise? No, probably not, but at least the upcoming “Venom” sounds cooler than most of its predecessors. Tom Hardy will play the villain of the title, a journalist who begins terrorizing Spider-Man and everyone else in New York after bonding with the alien lifeforce/suit known as the symbiote.

Due out later this year, “Venom” is currently filming. Here’s what you need to know about it before then.

The cast inspires confidence.

Hardy is playing the eponymous supervillain, AKA Eddie Brock, who for reasons that have yet to be made entirely clear was previously portrayed by Topher Grace in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3.” He’s joined by Michelle Williams as Ann Weying, better known as She-Venom, plus Riz Ahmed in a to-be-announced role. Many are hoping he’ll play Carnage, an even more psychopathic character, but nothing has been confirmed.

Matt Smith, Pedro Pascal, and Matthias Schoenaerts are said to have been up for the same role, and Jenny Slate was in talks to join the film late last year.

Spider-Man won’t be in it.

“Venom” will be unusual in that it’s a movie about a superhero’s archnemesis that doesn’t actually feature said hero, which means we won’t be seeing Tom Holland anytime soon. Hopefully the villain-centric approach works out better than it did in “Suicide Squad.”

The director wants to tap into Venom’s dark backstory.

Ruben Fleischer, late of “Zombieland” and “Gangster Squad,” is handling “Venom” — and sounds excited about it. “There’s a dark element to [Venom] and a wit that has always appealed to me,” he told Variety last year. Fleischer also added that he wants to explore the Jekyll-and-Hyde dynamic between Brock and Venom.

“They become almost a third being, which is what Venom is,” Fleischer added. “There’s a famous quote: ‘You’re Eddie Brock. I’m the symbiote. Together we are Venom.’”

The screenwriters have previous “Spider-Man” experience.

Jeff Pinkner was a co-writer of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the second of two web-slinging movies starring Andrew Garfield, whereas Scott Rosenberg did uncredited work on Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” movie. Kelly Marcel (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “Fifty Shades of Grey”) completes the trio.

There’s more where that came from.

This being 2018 and all, the studio (Sony, in this case) isn’t simply planning for a one-off. The plan is for a whole series — or cinematic universe, if you will — of interconnected movies about Spider-Man-adjacent villains. Whether these plans come to fruition will likely depend on the success of this maiden voyage.

It’s rated R and is set for release this fall.

“Venom” is due in theaters on October 5.