ByMichael Johnson, writer at
I'm a regular guy with regular opinons about regular things.
Michael Johnson

Mad Max was once revving his engine in DC, but is now fanging his war rig right down Marvel's dusty road. Tom Hardy is set to star in Sony's Venom solo movie, which has been penned by Scott Rosenberg and The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Jeff Pinkner, with Ruben Fleischer of directing. So with the charismatic Hardy on board, a character as dark as Venom, plus a director who's deft at mixing horror with comedy, could be the freshest thing to come out of the Sony/Marvel universe in forever.

Venom Can Save Sony's Revenant Spider-Man Universe

Venom's first full appearance came in 1988's The Amazing Spider-Man, Issue 300, but prior to 2007's Spider-Man 3 there weren't many casual fans who knew much about his origin story. It wasn't until 2015's Guardians of the Galaxy's Issue 23 that fans got a true origin of the alien symbiote previously known as Klyntar. The symbiote played host to a number of characters, including Spidey himself, so Venom is just the type of storied guy that needs.

If Sony decides to base the plot of Venom on the symbiote's most famous host Eddie Brock, we could bear witness to a character's fall from grace in what many see as a polar opposite trajectory to that of Peter Parker. Aside from both characters being reporters, Brock is vastly different from Parker and an emotional wreck when he becomes Venom. The symbiote opted to take over Brock after fought off the parasite; it was Brock's pain and hatred for Spider-Man that made him a perfect host.

After a number of battles with Spidey and a subsequent truce, Brock would move back to his hometown of San Francisco and become something of an antihero of the city's homeless population.

However, there's the option for a true hero in Agent Venom, with Flash Thompson as host. Much like Eddie, Flash would become a hero in a vastly different way than Peter Parker. Though, unlike Eddie, Flash idolized Spider-Man while bullying his alter ego Peter Parker, before the two later became friends in college.

Inspired by his hero Spider-Man, Flash joined the US military, losing both legs while heroically serving in the Iraq War. Though Flash was no longer an active-duty soldier, the Department of Homeland Security would approach him with the opportunity to be a super soldier using the Venom symbiote. Flash successfully bonded with Venom, gaining control with powers that exceeded that of Spider-Man. Venom would go on to be a hero in his own right, including joining the .

Other hosts include the irrational Mac Gargan, formerly known as Scorpion, and Lee Price, who was known for being cold and calculating. So no matter which route Sony chooses for the character of Venom, the story could drastically change the dynamic of the Spider-Man universe, with magnetic the perfect man for the job.

A Warrior Made For A Comic Book Movie

[Credits: Lionsgate and Warner Bros.]
[Credits: Lionsgate and Warner Bros.]

The studio hit the nail on the head with the casting of Venom. Hardy is undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of this generation. When it comes to immersing himself in a character, he's second to none, with such transformative roles in Bronson, Warrior, and of course, The Dark Knight Rises as the brutal, steely Bane. Not only is Hardy a proven fan favorite, but he was also Hugh Jackman's favorite to replace him as Wolverine, with the Aussie telling MTV News:

"He's younger than me. ... I think Tom Hardy would be a great Wolverine."

Hardy was also set to join the DCEU as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad, but ultimately had to drop out before production began because of a scheduling conflict. Now that he's signed on to play Venom, fans will finally get to see the dishy Brit on the other side of the law, fighting for justice as another badass comic book character ─ someone Sony sees as the cinematic replacement for the Web-Slinger.

Rated-R Heroes Are No Longer Taboo

Though Disney still reigns supreme with its superhero film machine that is the , more fans are clamoring for something different, something edgier — and Venom will fit that bill. Long gone are the days of financial success of superhero films predicated by family friendliness. Indeed, Fox has shown that the darker side can be just as successful and it looks like Sony will follow that route.

Details are still foggy on what rating Venom will receive, but it's been long suggested that the antihero will have an R-rating. In fact, in March we reported that Sony has plans to release Venom as its first R-rated superhero venture to kick off a cinematic universe separate from Spider-Man ─ and this makes perfect sense.

Of course, when talking about R-rated heroes, we met the two biggest in the last two years, with Deadpool and Logan both raining supreme at the box office and with critics. While there are clear differences between the two X-Men and Venom, one thing all three have in common is their ferocious way of serving up justice. With back-to-back rated-R success for Marvel, Sony would be wise to strike while the iron is hot, and with an expected 2018 release date, Venom could be the next (anti)hero to surpass half a billion dollars.

Venom: An Open Flood Gate For Other Possibilities

[Credit: Marvel]
[Credit: Marvel]

With the success of connected universes like the MCU, X-Men and the , you can bet your biscuit that Sony will offer cinemagoers something similar with Venom. These movies had nothing to do with Spider-Man: Homecoming and everything to do with Spider-Man's universe as a whole. The Amazing Spider-Man was thought to leave the door open for a Sinister Six film — however, as we all know, that plan has failed to come to fruition thus far. With Venom, Sony has the opportunity to jump-start a new universe, and recent reports also suggest that Sony is developing a Silver Sable and Black Cat movie, firmly establishing a Spidey-less universe .

With so many hosts, Venom could easily be an anthology series that focuses on these characters, like Angelo Fortunato, Ann Weying, and the aforementioned Eddie, Flash, Mac or Lee. There is also the exploration of the planet where the symbiote originated from, which would make for a great backdrop in and of itself. No matter the direction, Sony will have a ton of fan support thanks to its latest MCU addition of Tom Hardy.

Venom is slated for an October 5, 2018 release. Which Venom would you like to see Tom Hardy play? Sound off in the comments below.

[Source: Comic Vine, THR, Screen Rant]


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