Tom Hardy to star in Spider-Man spin-off Venom

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Tom Hardy, seen here at Bane, is playing Venom.

Sony Pictures is moving forward with their Venom film. The studio announced the casting in a black-and-white image on social media Friday with the actor donning a T-shirt emblazoned with the character's pearly whites. Sony has set a release date for October 5th, 2018 and has slated production to kick off before the end of the year. The new spinoff will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also directed "Zombieland".

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Venom has been one of Marvel's top villains and a Spider-Man fixture since he was introduced in 1988, created by writer David Michelinie and artists Todd McFarlane and Mike Zeck.

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The long-gestating project is focused on one of the webslinger's most notorious antagonists, previously brought to life in Spider-Man 3 by Topher Grace. So, clearly there's some animosity there.

Tom Hardy, who has been a huge fan of Venom - yes, yes that's him in a selfie he took announcing the role - was the meat and potatoes of Mad Max: Fury Road. Disgraced and suicidal after his false public accusation, Brock meets the alien symbiote, together becoming Venom and seeking out revenge against Spider-Man. Hopefully, it won't be an issue and this version of Venom (with a script co-written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner), will keep its Spidey mythos intact in some, even minor, way.

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Ever since he commanded the screen as Bane in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, Hardy has expressed interest in returning to the superhero genre. Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Amy Pascal are in place to produce the film. Other projects being developed by the studio include a film including Black Cat and Silver Sable.

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