When Sony announced in early 2017 that they would be moving forward with multiple Spider-Man-related projects apart from Marvel Studios, fans were understandably a bit puzzled as to the appeal of a Spider-Verse without Peter Parker, who has taken up residence in the MCU after Sony and Marvel's historic deal allowed for the rights to the character to be shared. One of Sony's announced projects, Silver and Black — featuring Silver Sable and Black Cat, two Spidey associates — has been put indefinitely on hold, but the other — Venom, based on the classic villain/antihero — has gone full speed ahead.
Its impressive cast includes Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom, as well as Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The first teaser trailer was noticeably light on alien symbiotes and heavy on Hardy in serious distress, but subsequent clips helped set a tone appropriate for what will be the first truly horror-tinged film adapted from a beloved Marvel property (Blade notwithstanding).
"In the comics, he bites people's heads off and eats brains," pointed out director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland). "It would be weird to make a movie with Venom if he wasn't doing that. We tried to honor it as closely as possible. This is definitely a darker, more violent, more vicious Marvel character than I think anyone's ever seen before."
Adding to fans' excitement: a rumor, as yet unsubstantiated, that Tom Holland's Peter Parker will indeed make an appearance. In an episode of podcast Collider Heroes, Jon Schnepp reported that Holland was on set for two days filming scenes as Parker (and pointedly not as his web-head alter ego). All signs point to Sony getting it right with their second crack at the deadly symbiote, and we'll see just how right when Venom hits theaters on October 5.