With the revelation that Sony has put Venom back into development, it looks like the notion of building a franchise and a shared universe around Spider-Man has survived the end of the Amazing Spider-Man series and will become a part of Tom Holland's post-Civil War plans.
And, yes, it begs the question: Who will play Venom?
Of course, there are a lot of unanswered questions. With Tom Holland in high school, he's presumably not at the Daily Bugle, which means it would be difficult to put the whole Eddie Brock origin story together. Does that mean we skip right to Flash Thompson and take him from being Peter's bully to an antihero all in one shot?
Well, we're going to assume so, for the sake of argument, so that we can write this piece. But, really, who knows?
Okay, so let's get into this right away.
After years of having 20-something actors come in to play the high school-aged Peter Parker, finally they've cast a teenager in the role of Spider-Man.
However, for the sake of ease, since I personally know very few good and/or marketable stars in the 16-20 age range, I'm going to give myself a little leeway. Let's assume for the sake of argument that when Venom stars, Flash Thompson will have had to graduate ahead of Pete, go overseas, and get those injuries that make him a perfect candidate for the Venom project.
So I'm going to allow myself to go as high as a 25-year-old, which Hemsworth is, especially when -- like Hemsworth -- he's a hugely marketable name with franchise potential and no existing superhero commitments to weigh him down. That's pretty rare.
He's also got something most young guys don't -- the thick build to play a bulky character like Venom without looking like he's out of shape.
This Teen Wolf actor would have to bulk up for the role, but considering how much more muscular he's gotten as his profile has risen with the general public, we don't think that's too implausible.
Actually, at one point O'Brien was one of a number of young actors rumored to be in the mix for the Spider-Man part -- so if he were interested, he might have an inside track. And the baby face thing he has going on makes him hard to believe as a seasoned combat veteran -- but it does allow him to be a dark mirror of Spider-Man actor Tom Holland...which is definitely something that serves Venom well.
A young star on the rise, Benward has a number of projects in the works at the moment -- but nothing huge.
Meanwhile, he's worked on Ravenswood before heading to do episodes of R.L. Stine's Haunting Hour and C.S.I., both of which are known for having casting departments who are on-point.
And yeah -- at 20 years old and with a look that syncs up with my idea of a post-high school Flash Thompson, I like this guy's odds.
From "young Ben" on Lost to "young Walker" on Powers, this is a guy who isn't new to playing a young guy in genre entertainment.
He's also done a stint on The Killing, the acclaimed, frequently-cancelled AMC drama.
He's a little creepy a lot of the time, but he's also genuinely a compelling actor, and that's pretty much the combination I would pick for any anti-hero, Venom included.