Hunger Games star Woody Harrelson is set to join the cast of the upcoming superhero film Venom. The movie, which reportedly will not be directly connected to the MCU, will star Tom Hardy in the title role as well as Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, and Jenny Slate.
Harrelson will be reuniting with director Ruben Fleischer, who the actor worked with in the apocalyptic comedy horror Zombieland back in 2009. Fleischer will run the movie coming from the script of writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg of The Dark Tower and Jumanji fame respectively, Collider reported.
Harrelson’s character details are still kept in secret, but there are speculations that he will play a goon or bodyguard of some kind. The vagueness of his role supplements the film’s enigma, as there is still no clear picture what it will all be about all through the pre-production process.
The only things certain are Hardy’s role as the anti-hero, Williams as a lawyer and his love interest, and Slate as a scientist.
The film is scheduled to be released in October next year, with the marketing campaign expected to get underway soon.
During the Comic-Con Experience 2017 held in Sao Paulo, Brazil last week, Fleischer teased the fans by saying that the movie takes inspiration from two popular comic book editions: Planet of the Symbiotes and Lethal Protector.
Planet of the Symbiotes is a five-issue series by David Michelinie in 1995. It tells the story of an army of symbiotes trying to invade planet Earth with Venom, Scarlet Spider, and Spider-Man joining forces to impede it.
Meanwhile, Lethal Protector is a 1993 series created by Michelinie and Mark Bagley that published six issues. The story was about Venom and his arch-enemy Spider-Man reaching an agreement to stop fighting with the condition that the former will also stop committing crimes. The anti-hero eventually teamed up with his arch-nemesis to battle with a new set of bad guys, namely Agony, Lasher, Phage, Riot, and Scream.
There is still no word whether Spider-Man will be featured in the movie.
Harrelson has been one of Hollywood’s most bankable superstars in recent times. Aside from Venom, he is also part of another potential blockbuster 2018 film titled Solo: A Star Wars Story. He will play the role of Beckett, who is Han Solo’s mentor.
Harrelson starred in several films this year, including major roles in War for the Planet of the Apes, Wilson, The Glass Castle, Shock and Awe, and the budding awards nominee Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Since Venom’s creation in 1988, the character has become one of Spider-Man’s most well-liked villains. The character became so popular that comic book writers had to create stories that would somehow make it even more heroic to please the fans. It finally made its Hollywood debut in the 2007 film Spider-Man 3 starring Tobey Maguire and was played by That ’70s Show star Topher Grace.
In June, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said that the movie will be a stand-alone project for Sony and will not be linked to the MCU at all. However, producer Amy Pascal explained that they plan to make the Venom film transpire in the “same world” as that of Spider-Man: Homecoming.