The first solo outing for one of Spider-Man's most notorious adversaries is officially on the way, with the release set for October 2018. Here's what we know so far.
Tom Hardy is Venom
Hot from Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, Tom Hardy has bagged the lead role.
It's a fan-delighting masterstroke of casting, since Hardy has impressive form in the comic-book villain department, having contributed that memorable Bane to The Dark Knight Rises.
This means the rising star of Mad Max: Fury Road will have achieved the unique distinction of playing villains in both DC and Marvel Universes.
In the comics, the Venom symbiote is an alien lifeform that needs a host to survive. Hardy will play its original victim: freelance journalist Eddie Brock.
It won't be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Complicated studio politics are involved in the long-gestating project, which has been discussed for more than a decade.
Sony owns the rights to Spider-Man and his milieu, while Disney/Marvel handle the rest of the MCU. They reached an agreement to bring Spidey back into the fold for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
But Sony retained the rights to Venom, with whom they plan to launch their own standalone Sony Marvel Universe, with no connection to Spider-Man.
We've seen Venom before
That's right, Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 back in 2007 explored the symbiote storyline.
The alien even corrupted Peter Parker himself, bringing out his dark side. Topher Grace was cast as Eddie Brock/Venom, but fans reacted poorly to his incarnation of the character.
Venom's return was heavily hinted at in publicity for The Amazing-Spider Man 2, suggesting perhaps that Marc Webb might have explored the character further, had there been a third Amazing Spider-Man film.
But it's safe to predict that Tom Hardy's Venom will be a total reinvention – especially as Sony have given Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer the leeway to explore the character's psychopahy in what will be a much darker film (see below).
Carnage is the villain
A few weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Carnage will be the bad guy. But hang on - isn't Venom villainous? Well, yes and no.
He's a complex character, who walks the line between good and evil. Carnage, however, is properly villainous. A fellow alien symbiote, this one latched on to sadistic serial killer Cletus Cassidy in the comicbooks, though there's no guarantee that the film will follow this storyline. But it will mark the character's very first appearance on the big screen. There's no casting news yet.
It's going to be adult in tone
Perhaps emboldened by the success of Deadpool, which became the highest-grossing R-rated (15 in the UK) film of all time, Sony is – according to Collider – planning to make Venom R-rated too. That makes sense given the potential for adult themes and violence.
It will also place clear blue water between Sony's Marvel Universe and the Disney one, which is more PG-13/12A.
That said, it's bad news if you're a Marvel fan under 15.
You see Venom in 2018. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Homecoming is still screening at Cineworld.