Tom Hardy has played a lot of things over the years. But Venom might be his strangest role yet.
The outlandish superhero/supervillain blockbuster isn't due to hit cinemas until October. Yet in a week where comic book fever is already heightened by the imminent release of Avengers: Infinity War, it's already gaining a great deal of buzz.
Hardy plays Eddie Brock, who fuses with a living ball of alien goo and gains incredible powers.
It's fair to say Venom is not your typical comic book movie.
It came from outer space...
Venom is one of the stranger characters to come out of the Marvel canon.
An alien that takes an amorphous, liquid form, Venom requires a host to bond with for its survival. Once it does so, it endows them with enhanced powers - including shapeshifting and camouflage.
But it also corrupts their minds.
The character originates from the Spider-Man line of comic books, and was originally introduced in 1984.
Its first known host was Spider-Man himself, who eventually separated himself from the creature.
Though Venom is based on a Marvel Comics character, the film is not part of the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Inspired in part by David Cronenborg, Hardy's transformation into 'Venom' could bring audiences some great body-horror (Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing)
It is instead intended the first film in Sony's own new superhero universe, which runs separately from the MCU and features the Marvel characters to which Sony possesses the rights.
However, the film shares the world of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set in the MCU.
Yes, it's confusing.
That other time we got Venom on the big screen
Despite this being Venom's first standalone film, it won't the first time audiences have seen the creature on the big screen.
In 2007's Spider-Man 3, the final entry in Sam Raimi's film trilogy, Venom initially possessed Peter Parker and sent him into 'evil emo' mode. Resulting in this sequence:
After being ultimately rejected by Spider-Man, Venom then joined with rival freelance photographer Brock, played in that movie by Topher Grace.
The character was divisive to say the least, with director Sam Raimi even going so far as to call his own film "awful", and levelling much of the blame at Venom, who was included at the studio's behest.
Shades of Cronenberg?
Sony will be hoping Hardy's version of the character fares better.
Tom Hardy also provide motion-capture for his performance as Venom (Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing)
It looks to be taking a different approach to most comic-book films, and Columbia Pictures president Sanford Panitch explained to Variety that Sony was looking to give each film in their Universe a distinct style.
The film could give us an interesting melding of classic superhero fare and the body-horror films popular in the 80s, with Panitch saying Venom is inspired by the works of David Cronenberg and John Carpenter.
Director Ruben Fleischer told Variety he has "always been drawn to the more antihero superheroes.
"There's a dark element to [Venom] and a wit that has always appealed to me."
Venom is currently scheduled for release on October 5
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, iNews.