Riz Ahmed (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story“) may be joining the Spider-Man universe. The actor is in early talks to join Sony’s “Spider-Man” spinoff “Venom,” which will star Tom Hardy (“Mad Max: Fury Road”). He will reportedly play “a popular Marvel Comics character,” according to various sources, but Sony hasn’t made it clear as to who Ahmed could play. THR has reported, however, that Ahmed will not be playing film villain Carnage, though he was considered for the part in an earlier script draft.
In the Spider-Man universe, Venom is photographer Eddie Brock who bonds with a symbiotic alien to become Spider-Man’s arch nemesis. The famous villain later grew to become an antihero and “protector of the innocent” in the Marvel comics. Venom was last portrayed by Topher Grace (“That 70s Show”) in the 2000s era “Spider-Man” trilogy, which starred Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging hero.
Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) is already set to direct the solo film, which will not have an impact on the rest of the Spider-Man universe, according to Variety. Scott Rosenberg (“High Fidelity”) and Jeff Pinkner (“The Dark Tower”) will be penning the “Venom” script, with Avi Arad (“X-Men”), Matt Tolmach (“The Amazing Spider-Man”) and Amy Pascal (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”) producing. Palak Patel and Eric Fineman of Columbia Pictures will be shepherding the film project.
Ahmed has hit his stride in Hollywood, starring in HBO’s “The Night Of,” “Rogue One” and “Jason Bourne,” which starred Matt Damon. He also earned SAG, Golden Globe, and Primetime Emmy nominations for “The Night Of,” along with a previous nomination for a guest role on “Girls.”
“Venom” hits theaters Oct. 5, 2018.