The production for Sony's Venom is under way and we finally have our first look at Riz Ahmed from the set, but unfortunately, he is not Carnage, as had been previously thought. The idea of the Spider-Man spin-off was originally seen as a bad idea amongst the hardcore fans, but when Tom Hardy announced that he would be playing Eddie Brock, their tunes changed and now the movie is highly anticipated. Michelle Williams, who is playing Anne Weyling, Brock's ex-wife, has recently admitted to taking the part as a way to work with Hardy and says that she has already learned a lot from working with the actor.
In a new Venom set photo, Riz Ahmed can be seen walking in a black suit, and according to Atlanta Filming, he is playing Dr. Carlton Drake. The Lethal Protector comic series has already been confirmed by Tom Hardy to be the source material for the upcoming movie and Dr. Carlton Drake has a big part in the series. Drake is the leader of the Life Foundation, the group looking to tap into Venom's power and replicate it. The five resulting symbiotes of their experiments (Agony, Lasher, Riot, Phage, and Scream) are then used to try to destroy Venom for good. It isn't clear if Carnage will make an appearance in Venom, but it is looking like Ahmed will be the villain making Eddie Brock's life a living hell.
And though he won't be Carnage, it will certainly be interesting to see Riz Ahmed lend his talents to a villainous role, which we have yet to see. His performances in Rogue One and Night Crawler were fantastic and just the thought of Ahmed and Tom Hardy sharing the screen together already elevates a movie that we have not seen any footage from. The gritty, rumored to be R-rated standalone movie is already going in a route that many did not expect, which is a gamble that looks like it's going to pay off in the long run.
The Lethal Protector series reinvented Venom in the early 1990s. The story starts off with peace between Eddie Brock and Spider-Man and saw Brock move to San Francisco to get away and become the anti-hero as opposed to the villain. Trouble obviously finds Brock and that's where Riz Ahmed's Dr. Carlton Drake comes into play. Eddie Brock is tracked and hunted down by the Life Foundation who want to recreate the symbiote's power. It was thought that Carnage was going to be the main villain this time around, but the storyline may be saved for a second movie, much like the introduction of Michelle Williams' She-Venom.
Venom hits theaters next Fall and the hype is growing strong with the project, especially after Tom Hardy revealed the source material and promised to do the character justice at the Brazil Comic-Con a few weeks ago. Will the Life Foundation end up creating Carnage? Will She-Venom make an appearance? It's far too early to tell, but it's looking like we might end up with more than one Venom movie in the future. In the meantime, check out the picture of Riz Ahmed as Dr. Carlton Drake below, courtesy of Atlanta Filming's Twitter account.