The most hilarious rumor to come out of Film Twitter in 2017 so far was undoubtedly the idea that Daniel Espinosa's Life was actually a stealth prequel to Venom. On the surface, there were a few things that made sense- both films came from the same studio (Sony), Sony surprisingly put Venom on the release calendar just weeks before the sci-fi film's release, and I guess Life's space squid thing kinda looked like the symbiote. But beyond those random facts, there was absolutely nothing that indicated any sort of relation between the two films. I bring this up because, much to my disbelief, Sony is actually moving forward with the Venom movie. While they're working with Marvel to bring Spider-Man: Homecoming to the big-screen in July, the struggling studio is also hoping to create a successful series of films based on characters in the Spidey universe. Venom wasn't a hit character when he was played by Topher Grace in 2007's Spider-Man 3, but I guess they think it's worth another shot. Earlier today, Sony finally revealed their plans for the upcoming spin-off with their pick for who will play the titular character, as well as their choice for the man in the director's chair.
On Twitter, Sony confirmed that Tom Hardy will star as Eddie Brock in Venom, which will begin production in the fall. In addition, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is in final negotiations to direct the film. In THR's report, it's emphasized that Venom is a top priority for the studio, and that they're fast-tracking the film for an October 5, 2018 release date. The script was written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pickner, who also wrote the upcoming Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Fleischer broke out with the hit zombie film in 2009, but his career took a detour after 30 Minutes or Less and Gangster Squad, two straight misfires that were met with a mixed reaction from audiences and critics. Meanwhile, Hardy will next be seen in this summer's Dunkirk, from close collaborator Christopher Nolan. Hardy also has War Party, Fonzo, and George Miller's Mad Max: The Wasteland on the potential docket, as well as some rumors that he'll be taking on James Bond in a future installment, but it seems that he'll be tackling Venom first. I can't help but feel like Hardy's talents would be better used elsewhere, but I also can't deny that his involvement makes me infinitely more interested in seeing a Venom film. This thing still seems like a bad idea, but if Hardy and Fleischer are involved, at least that's something.
With Sony pushing hard for this film, look for more information in the coming weeks.