Out of nowhere, Sony Pictures announced (via Variety) that they now have a movie on their schedule based around the Spider-Man character Venom, and it’s penciled in to come out in less than two years — October 5, 2018 to be precise.

Hollywood has been trying to make a Venom movie ever since the character first made his first cinematic appearance in 2007 in Spider-Man 3…and this is kind of the problem. Venom, as he is, is a very 90’s superhero — a more X-TREEEEME version of Spider-Man that originally debuted as a villain but proved so popular that Marvel had to elevate him. He still wanted to eat brains and kill Spider-Man, but other symbiotes like Carnage were introduced to make Venom look good in comparison.

Culturally, the time to make a Venom movie may have come and gone…but it really depends on the writing and directing in the end. That’s why the ambiguity from Sony as to whether this fits into Marvel/Disney’s bigger universe is distressing. If they’re willing to work with Disney to ensure quality and continuity, then good. But it’s also possible Sony may be going this alone and thinks they can make a stand-alone Venom movie with no references to Spider-Man whatsoever….a revision that would require a complete overhaul of his backstory. The symbiote that makes up half of Venom was originally part of Spider-Man, and it adapted his style and superpowers after it left him. Venom is a radicalized antihero Spider-Man. You can pretend they aren’t related, but who are you fooling?

Don’t be surprised if that rapid release date gets bumped down a few months. As it is, the Venom movie is nowhere near ready to shoot. The main role hasn’t been cast and they don’t even have a director. They’re still working on the script: writers Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner completed the most recent draft.

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