Sony’s ‘Venom’ is actually shaping up to be higher quality than was probably expected. First Academy Award nominee Tom Hardy signed on for the lead role as Eddie Brock, a reporter-turned-host to the titular alien symbiote and now his love interest in the film will be portrayed by four-time Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams.
Williams has been nominated for her roles in ‘Manchester by the Sea’, ‘My Week With Marilyn’, ‘Blue Valentine’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Clearly, Williams tends to stick to prestige films, like the upcoming ‘All the Money in the World’ directed by Ridley Scott, Todd Haynes’ ‘Wonderstruck’ and the big budget musical ‘The Greatest Showman’, all of which may once again put her in the running for more nominations and perhaps, finally, a win. ‘Venom’ may be her most commercial film yet. The only other foray she has taken into this field was in Disney’s ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’. Of course, her big break came via the quintessential ’90s teen soap ‘Dawson’s Creek’.
The name of her ‘Venom’ character was not disclosed, but she is described as an attorney. It’s more than likely that Williams will play Anne Weying, Brock’s ex-wife. In the comics, Weying is a fairly minor supporting character, but later she also bonds with the Venom symbiote and becomes She-Venom, also known as the Bride of Venom. Anne is eventually so traumatized by these transformations, coupled with Eddie’s role as Venom that… well, it doesn’t end well.
There was some question about the continuity of ‘Venom’, but it has now been clearly established that this is a freestanding movie, unconnected to either ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ruben Fleischer (‘Zombieland’, ‘Gangster Squad’) is set to direct based on a script by Jeff Pinkner (‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, ‘The Dark Tower’).
In addition to Hardy and Williams, the cast of ‘Venom’ is also rumored to include ‘Star Wars: Rogue One”s Riz Ahmed in an undisclosed role. No other characters have been named other than Kletus Cassiday/Carnage, the movie’s main villain. So it’s obviously entirely possible that this is Ahmed’s part.
Back to Williams, she may be making a movie based on a Marvel Comics character, but she was previously romantically involved with Heath Ledger, best known for his role as DC’s The Joker. Ledger died after wrapping ‘The Dark Knight’ for which he won a posthumous Academy Award. The two met on the set of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and had a daughter, Matilda, together.
Both Williams and Hardy have had financially successful movies, but they are obviously more interested in making high quality films than lining their wallets. And Fleischer’s ‘Zombieland’ was a sleeper fan favorite. In the ’90s, ‘Venom’ may have seemed like one of the prime examples of XTREME overindulgence, but this film could actually be… good. Huh.