It came as a bit of a surprise when Sony announced Tom Hardy would be playing the Marvel character Venom in a solo movie. The studio hired Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer to helm the film, which is said to be rated-R.
For anyone who knows the character, that rating makes sense, because while Venom is an anti-hero (opposed a full on villain), he’sl not above killing. Now it seems that the choice of Fleischer as the man behind the camera was deliberate and adds a new wrinkle to the project.
In an interview with Fandom producer Amy Pascal said this about hiring Fleischer:
“Well, Ruben is a very talented, ironic, funny guy. He did a great job with Zombieland, so when you think of that mixed with Venom, I think that tells you what it should be.”
All of a sudden, there are red flags everywhere. Zombieland was a fantastic R-rated film that was a great satire of the zombie genre. What it sounds like to me is that Sony saw what Fox’s successful Deadpool did, so they’re trying to emulate it — which also sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, because Venom is not Deadpool. Both are Marvel characters, but are very different.
Pascal goes on to say that the Venom movie might somehow connect with the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. In the interview, she goes on to say that, while Venom isn’t in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the films exist in the same reality. Here’s what she told Fandom:
“First, there is Spider-Man happily in the place where he’s supposed to be which is in the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe. I think everything comes from that. This is the signpost, the tentpole, the signature and… the other movies that Sony’s going to make, in their relationship to this [MCU] Spider-Man, take place in this [separate Sony] world. Although you’re not going to see them in the Marvel Universe, it’s in the same reality.”
All right, that’s a head scratcher for sure. Pascal hints that both Venom and Spider-Man could show up in the same movie by pointing out that, “Venom is a character that is closely associated with Spidey, and there may be some day where you see them together, you never know.” That makes me think Tom Holland probably won’t be part of the Venom movie, but may be part of a future sequel.
The “it’s in the same reality” bit makes me think of what I suspected Sony would do with the Spider-Man property ever since the deal between the studio and Marvel was struck. Sony can have their own pocket universe, which only connects through Spider-Man, who can exist in both an MCU film and a Sony Spidyverse movie. For example, Venom can mention Spider-Man fighting it out with Vulture in Homecoming, but not say a thing about Iron Man taking part. Or Sony could take the rights back after Spider-Man: Homecoming 2.
Of course, Amy Pascal has been very confusing about the whole Spider-Man/Venom situation in the past few weeks, so another possibility is that I’m way off base. Because she’s not very good at explaining it all. We’ll have to see how this all pans out in the near future.
Venom will premiere in theaters on October 5, 2018.