Venom movie

On paper, a Venom movie that doesn’t feature Spider-Man and doesn’t have any oversight from the people at Marvel Studios seems like an awful idea, something brazenly devised by the folks at Sony to draft off the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the excellent casting – which so far includes Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, and Veep star Reid Scott – has made me raise an eyebrow and be more willing to give this film the benefit of the doubt.

Now we’re starting to hear some rumors about the film’s plot: mainly that it may be an adaptation of Venom: Lethal Protector, a six-issue limited comic series that first turned Venom from a villain into an anti-hero.

The latest rumor comes from OmegaUnderground, and while you’d be advised to take it with the requisite grain of salt, there seems to be some evidence to support it. The site theorizes that the movie will adapt the Lethal Protector storyline, which sees Eddie Brock/Venom agreeing with Spider-Man that the two will leave each other alone if Brock stops committing crimes and moves to San Francisco. But soon after the move, the father of one of Venom’s previous victims gathers a group of super-powered mercenaries and tracks him down in order to get revenge. Ultimately, Venom teams up with Spider-Man and five offspring of the Venom symbiote (Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony) to face off against this mercenary team.

OmegaUnderground cites a report that the production will shoot in San Fransisco as part of their evidence, as well as casting reports saying that the film has been looking to cast multiple mercenaries. The site speculates that these mercenaries could be The Jury, the specific group that appears in the Lethal Protector storyline.

But clearly some changes will need to be made to the story for the film adaptation. We know that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man won’t appear in the new film (though I suppose he could technically appear in this universe one day down the line if Marvel and Sony agree on terms), so Venom and his mini-symbiote army won’t be getting an assist from the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. One tiny connection that might translate well from the comic to the movie, though, is that The Jury’s armor is made from designs stolen by Tony Stark; that could easily remain the case in the film without having to include an expensive Robert Downey Jr. cameo.

One other quick thing: we previously knew Michelle Williams will be playing a district attorney and Tom Hardy’s love interest, but the site gets even more specific, saying she’ll be playing Ann Weying, who is Eddie Brock’s ex-wife. She eventually suits up as She-Venom, and I hope that happens here because it would be incredible to see Michelle Williams – an actress largely known for her intense dramatic roles – to transition into full-blown superhero mode in this film. That character’s storyline gets pretty dark in the comics, and unless Sony wants to really push things to the edge, I’m guessing her fate will be altered for this Venom movie as well.

In other news, the studio launched an official Twitter account for the movie yesterday. Since this is an official verified account, it seems as though we can now start officially referring to Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent properties (Venom, Silver & Black, etc.) as being a part of “Sony’s Marvel Universe,” or the SMU.

Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is at the helm of Venom, which swings into theaters on October 5, 2018.

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