Tom Hardy Says Venom Movie is Based on ‘Lethal Protector’ Comic

Speaking at the Sao Paulo Comic Con Experience, Venom star Tom Hardy has finally confirmed longstanding rumors that the film will be inspired by the classic Lethal Protector comic book miniseries.

Sony’s Venom is one of the more intriguing films due out next year. It’s the first of a proposed series of Spider-Man spinoffs, with each movie starring members of the webhead’s rogues’ gallery. It’s uncertain at this stage whether or not the movies will be part of the MCU, however, and fans have been wondering how you can possibly make Venom work without Spider-Man. The answer, according to Hardy, is by basing the film one of the most popular Venom stories of all time.

Sao Paulo’s Comic Con Experience has essentially been the launch of Sony’s Venom marketing. It included a recorded message from Hardy, in which he promised fans he’d do the character justice. Intriguingly, according to ComicBook.com Hardy also suggested the film would be “important” to the Marvel Universe. He went on to reveal that the movie would be inspired by 1993’s Lethal Protector miniseries.

The approach makes sense. Lethal Protector reinvented the long-tongued symbiote for the ’90s. It kicked off with a truce between Eddie Brock and Spider-Man, and saw Brock move to San Francisco. There, he began a career as an antihero rather than as a villain. Needless to say, trouble followed hot on Brock’s heels, as the miniseries saw Venom hunted down by the Life Foundation. They sought to tap into the power of Brock’s symbiote, and created five new symbiote spawn. We can assume the film will adapt this plot twist to introduce Carnage, rumored to be the main bad guy. He’s one of Marvel’s most brutal villains, created when a symbiote bonded with a psychopathic murderer. It’s believed Riz Ahmed is playing Carnage’s host, Cletus Kasady.

Meanwhile, fans will be particularly interested in Hardy’s comment that this film will be “important” to the Marvel Universe. The last few months have seen a lot of confusion over whether or not Sony’s Spider-Man spinoffs would actually be part of the MCU. In June, Spider-Man: Homecoming producer Amy Pascal described the films as “adjuncts” to the MCU. It didn’t take long for Pascal to row back on this claim, instead insisting the spinoffs were only inspired by the comics. But most fans are still hoping Sony’s movies can add an R-rated sheen to the PG13 MCU.

It’s too soon to tell whether or not Hardy’s remark is an actual hint that Venom is part of the MCU. One thing’s for sure, though; it’s inspired by one of the most beloved Venom stories of all time. That fact is sure to leave fans thrilled.

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