When it was announced that a movie based on Marvel Comics' anti-hero Venom was on its way, the initial fan reaction was mixed, to say the least. A movie based on the famous Spider-Man villain but that wouldn't include any sign of Spidey himself, falling outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe? But following the fan community's collective shoulder-shrug came a communal raising of eyebrows when it was revealed that Oscar nominated actor Tom Hardy was taking the lead role of Eddie Brock, host of the Venom symbiote. Suddenly the movie got a lot more interesting.
Now, two more very interesting names have popped up in conjunction with Sony's Venom film; Variety is reporting that Oscar nominee Michelle Williams and Jenny Slate are currently in negotiations to appear in the superhero feature. That said, at this point, the characters they'll be playing are shrouded in a bit of mystery.
Williams is said to be playing a district attorney, while Slate should be donning a lab coat to play a scientist character. What's interesting about this casting is that Williams far more closely associated with small-budget dramas like Blue Valentine, Take This Waltz, and Manchester by the Sea than she is with tentpole superhero films, whereas Slate is known foremost as a broad comedian. Their inclusion only makes Venom more curious a project.
Variety went on to clarify on Twitter that Slate’s scientist character may be working for a company that is owned by the film’s yet unnamed main villain—likely someone who is observing, or even has a hand in creating, the venom symbiote. While there isn't any one specific comic book character who proves a likely basis for Slate's role, it is probably an amalgamation of scientist characters from the pages of Brian Michael Bendis' original Ultimate Spider-Man comics.
So where does that leave Michelle Williams, whom the reports identify as a "love interest"? Since Venom is going to be the protagonist and the villain of the piece, it's likely that the movie will take inspiration from the very first Venom mini-series, Lethal Protector. That series didn't give Eddie Brock a girlfriend per se, the film could be mixing and matching comics series, as the movies often tend to do. As such, Williams could be playing the part of Beck Underwood, a lawyer and above-ground contact for a secret underground society from the comics, who dated Venom's human form of Eddie Brock way back in the day. Another deep cut from Spider-Man lore who could prove the basis for Williams' role: Ashley Kafka, a doctor at the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane and the love interest of Eddie Brock in the 1994 Spider-Man cartoon, Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
We've got plenty of time to speculate further, as Sony Pictures' Venom film is slated to hit theaters on Oct. 5, 2018. Shout out your theories in the meantime!
Images: Marvel Comics / Fox Searchlight Pictures / Roadside Attractions
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