Venom is slated to open October 5th of next year, with Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom but with no apparent ties to Spider-Man: Homecoming, as this spin-off is not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe according to Marvel head Kevin Feige. Sony is handling Venom, and previous rumors made it sound like Hardy will be playing an anti-hero instead of a villain, with Carnage being the bigger bad guy. That rumor is getting more complicated in light of the newest casting updates.
Variety reported Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, HBO’s The Night Of) is in “early talks” to play a “popular Marvel Comics character,” but the Hollywood Reporter claims the script has changed and Carnage is no longer the role Ahmed is being considered for (although Carnage may still be in it). A different villain has reportedly been added, but The Tracking Board says, “One individual with knowledge of the project insists that Ahmed has been cast as Carnage, but said it’s going to be treated as a reveal in the film, though a studio insider cast doubt on that information.”
If Ahmed passes on the role of Carnage/not-Carnage/I’m-so-confused, Variety‘s Justin Kroll said Sony is also considering Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), and Mathias Schoenarts to play… whichever villain it is.
Well, whatever ends up happening, one thing is certain. We will always have a constant stream of Spider-Man movies.