Sony is moving full-speed ahead on their SPIDER-MAN spinoff, VENOM. Last month, Tom Hardy signed on to star with Ruben Fleischer (ZOMBIELAND) on board to direct with a release date set for October 5, 2018. For those who are unfamiliar with the character, Venom’s original incarnation is photographer Eddie Brock, a rival at the Daily Bugle to Peter Parker. After Peter Parker ditches the alien symbiote that gave him the black suit but also amplified his darker impulses, the symbiote comes across Brock and merges with him to become Venom. Venom basically has all of Spider-Man’s powers, but he’s bigger, meaner, and drools a lot.
While it’s unclear how exactly Venom will work if his story is no longer tied to Spider-Man’s, that doesn’t seem to be a concern for Sony. The film is moving ahead, and now THR reports in an-depth article about the Sony/Marvel deal that Venom will also feature the villain Carnage.
Here’s Carnage’s history: the character first appeared as serial killer Cletus Kassidy. Kassidy shared a cell with Brock in prison, and Brock escaped using the symbiote. However, the symbiote left some of itself behind, merged with Kassidy, and the Kassidy became Carnage. His powers include physical strength, shapeshifting, and all of Spider-Man’s powers. Basically, Venom is “What if Spider-Man was an anti-hero?” and Carnage is “What if Spider-Man was a bad guy with lots and lots of powers?”
The reason I fear for VENOM’s success is mainly because Avi Arad, who twice drove the SPIDER-MAN franchise into the ground before Marvel Studios came along to try and resuce it, is a producer on the project. He’s a wealth of bad ideas, and Venom, who could work in some contexts, will probably be reduced to a glowering anti-hero who builds up to a fight with Carnage.
As for whether or not Spider-Man will make any appearance in movie featuring two characters who have Spider-Man’s powers, it remains to be seen. Producer Amy Pascal hinted that they would like to have VENOM take place in the world of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, but Kevin Feige is not a producer on VENOM and Tom Holland is currently only signed to do two SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING sequels for Sony.