Tom Hardy is taking on the title role in a comic book movie for the first time with this fall’s Sony tentpole “Venom,” but it isn’t the first time the anti-hero has graced the big screen. Topher Grace brought Eddie Brock/Venom to life at the movies in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3,” although critics weren’t too kind to the film or Grace’s late introduction as the film’s third primary antagonist. So how does Grace feel about Hardy taking over his role in a “Venom” standalone movie? Quite thrilled, actually.
“To me — I truly mean this — I think Tom is the guy to play that role,” Grace recently told Inverse about Hardy. “I’m thrilled to watch it as a fan. I really mean that. I think he’s just the best dude.”
Grace said that while he thought his version of Venom was cool, it was not the comic book character he grew up reading and loving. The actor, who next appears as Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” said Hardy’s iteration of Venom looks to have more of the character’s comic book DNA.
“I understand Sam’s interpretation, which was to do a dark version of Tobey [Maguire]’s character,” Grace said. “I was thrilled because I was such a fan of the character, but I was aware of how it was different from what I had grown up reading. I thought it was cool, but I’m really excited to see [Tom Hardy’s version]. That’s the character I grew up with.”
Grace pointed to Hardy’s performance as Bane in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” as proof the actor won’t have any troubling nailing another complex movie superhero villain. “He’s proven he can do comic book villains amazing,” Grace said.
Hardy’s “Venom” opens in theaters nationwide October 5 via Sony Pictures. Focus Features’ “BlacKkKlansman,” starring Grace opposite John David Washington and Adam Driver, opens in theaters August 10.