The Spider-Man franchise might be going through its latest incarnation thanks to Sony Pictures' deal with Marvel, but the studio hasn't forgotten about plans to bring one of the other known Spider-characters to the screen. News arrives via The Hollywood Reporter that a standalone Venom movie is now scheduled for next year.
Venom – the alien symbiote that requires a human host to live and bestows great powers with little responsibility – has had mixed history in film. Relegated to a side threat in Spider-Man 3 (2007), the creature was supposed to come back after Sony decided to spin-off an entire Spider-Man cinematic universe. Alex Kurtzman (People Like Us) was aboard to write and direct a new movie, but all of that was mothballed when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) failed to generate much interest and suffered low box office returns.
Still, Sony have persisted, hiring Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) contributor Dante Harper to start working on a new script last year, with Scott Rosenberg (Con Air) and Jeff Pinkner (Zoo) re-writing that for producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad (The Amazing Spider-Man). Former Sony boss Amy Pascal is also aboard to produce and the plan is to have the movie in US cinemas for 19 October 2018. No-one is saying what the plot is yet, or whether it will tie into Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is out here on 7 July this year. Nor do we know what version of the character will appear – the original villainous form or the more recent heroic/anti-heroic continuity. And above all else, this one will have to get moving quickly to meet that deadline.
This new release date announcement is part of a set of shuffling superhero movies, as Warner Bros have just moved Aquaman off that October slot to a new home of 18 December, taking advantage of Avatar 2 once again failing to lock down a release.