Earlier in March, Sony Pictures gave Venom a release date, and now rumors suggest that the film will be the start of something potentially much bigger.
According to a new rumor coming out from Collider, Venom is being developed with the intent of the film earning an R-rating and for the film to launch a new shared Marvel Universe separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That means that Venom will exist independently from Spider-Man: Homecoming, and so the Venom symbiote will not interact in any wy with Spider-Man. However, Venom is intended to be set in the same universe as the Black Cat and Silver Sable film project that Sony is also rumored to have in development.
It is hard not to wonder if this move by Sony is partly inspired by the recent success of 20th Century Fox's own separate Marvel X-Men Universe. Last year's Deadpool and this year's Logan were both R-rated and both are now among the franchise's biggest financial successes so far.
However, Fox owns the film rights to the entire library of characters considered to be part of the X-Men franchise and can use them at will. Having Spider-Man, the central character in Sony's Marvel web, be part of a different universe seems like an odd choice. That would be like Fox giving Professor X over to Marvel Studios, but continuing to create X-Men movies without him.
It also raises some questions about character bargaining when it comes to supporting cast. The Vulture and Shocker, two classic Spider-Man villains, both appear in Spider-Man: Homecoming, making them part o the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So where and when do the studios draw the line when it comes to decided which toys they each get to play with?
Collider's report makes it clear that these are Sony's plans at the moment, but that the Venom movie is still early in development and those plans could change over time.
For those unfamiliar with the character, Venom is a fan favorite Spider-Man villain and sometimes Marvel Comics antihero. Todd McFarlane created Venom in 1988 and he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #300, though the character was inspired by the black costume given to Spider-Man in 1984's The Amazing Spider-Man #252.
The Venom suit is actually an alien lifeform from its own will and consciousness. the Venom suit is a Klyntar, and symbiotic alien race. He has gone through many human hosts, originally attempting to bond with Peter Parker but, after being rejecting, joining Eddie Brock, a disgruntled reporter.
Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinker are working on the current script for Venom. Venom will hit theaters on Oct. 5, 2018.