Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony’s Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[a] Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, it stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.
After Venom appeared in Spider-Man 3 (2007), Sony attempted to develop a spin-off film based on the character. Work began in March 2016 on a new version that would start a new shared universe featuring the Marvel characters that the studio possessed film rights to. Sony also intended for Venom to share the world of the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), but ultimately distanced the film from the Spider-Man character. In March 2017, Rosenberg and Pinkner were set to write, with Fleischer and Hardy added in May. Principal photography began that October in Atlanta, before moving to New York City and San Francisco. The film was primarily inspired by the comic book miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector (1993) and story arc “Planet of the Symbiotes” (1995).
Venom was released in the United States on October 5, 2018. It received generally negative reviews from critics, though Hardy’s performance received some praise. The film is the seventh highest-grossing film of 2018 with over $855 million worldwide, and set several box office records for an October release. A sequel is expected to be released on October 2, 2020.