Riz (‘Rogue One’) Ahmed Touted for Tom Hardy’s ‘Venom’

Sony is building its own superhero universe and Venom is intended to be the launch pad. Tom Hardy will be playing the titular character, a man who bonds with an alien symbiote that gives him supernatural powers.

Venom was portrayed by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 (2007) as a rival freelance photographer who becomes the primary antagonist in opposition to Peter Parker. The alien symbiote made a cameo appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).

The plan has long been to make Venom an anti hero in his own solo movie, pitted against a supervillain known as Carnage. In the Marvel comic books, Carnage, similar to Venom, is an symbiote, an alien life form that has tremendous physical strength and can change shapes.

Now Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, top) is in early talks to join the cast, according to Variety. The report claimed he would be playing “a popular Marvel Comics character.”

Will be playing a hero or a villain? We’re still waiting for confirmation. But he will not be portraying the villainous Carnage, according to The Hollywood Reporter, though he was considered for the role before recent script changes.

Shortly before his standout turn in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Ahmed delivered a top-flight performance in HBO’s series The Night Of as a man who is charged with murder, yet proclaims his innocence. He’s also given notable performances in the crime thriller Nightcrawler opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and in the dark comedy Four Lions, so he can definitely capture both the heroic and villainous aspects of a character.

Sony is also developing Silver & Black, which will revolve around Spider-Man characters Silver Sable and Black Cat; Gina Prince-Bythewood will direct. Venom, to be directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is scheduled to open in theaters on October 5, 2018.

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