Venom will involve other comic book villains and will set the stage for future installments to introduce more Marvel characters in Sony's planned connected universe, leaving the door open for characters like She-Venom and Venom arch-foe Carnage.
"There are other villains in the movie too — we're definitely planning a big world with these characters," director Ruben Fleischer told Total Film magazine.
Asked if that means symbiote-sporting serial killer Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. vicious super villain Carnage, is on the way — possibly played by Woody Harrelson, whose role is being kept under wraps — Fleischer said he thinks "it'll be really fun for fans to go see the movie and see for themselves."
Playing lover to Tom Hardy's investigative reporter Eddie Brock is Michelle Williams as Anne Weying, a character who in the Marvel comics was Brock's ex-wife — and who found herself bonded with a symbiote of her own following a near-death experience.
"She-Venom would be a dream come true," Williams said.
Williams' character has ties to Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the subject of Brock's investigation and who just so happens to be elbow-deep in shady dealings surrounding the inky extraterrestrial substances known as symbiotes. Drake will harness and abuse the power of his grey-colored symbiote to become Riot, who could be just one of several enemies Venom will square off against as he struggles to embrace his newfound role as a lethal protector.
Venom borrows from the 1993 comic book storyline 'Lethal Protector' that saw the Spider-Man enemy relocate to San Francisco, where he battled Riot and four other freshly-spawned symbiote-powered enemies: Scream, Phage, Lasher, and Agony.
Fleischer hopes for sequels — and Hardy is already signed to a three-movie deal — but future installments depend on reception to the first entry in what Sony hopes becomes a wider shared universe.
"We've definitely laid some groundwork for different directions that the franchise could go but obviously it all hinges on people's excitement about this film," Fleischer told ComicBook.com during San Diego Comic-Con. "I hope people will stay and see what seeds have been planted."
Venom opens October 5.