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So does it look like Hardy's character is going this route? Instead, this first official image is a look at Tom Hardy in reporter mode as Eddie Brock, pre-transformation.

The film reportedly draws inspiration from the 1993 Marvel Comics miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector, in which the alien symbiote and its host relocate to the West Coast, where a sinister organization hatches plans to create its own horrific spawns. While the Life Foundation isn't responsible for turning Eddie Brock into Venom in the comic books, they do capture Venom and extract five additional "symbiotes" from him. Not only does it star one of Spidey's most popular and enduring foes, it's also the first movie to truly expand the Spider-Man universe in a meaningful way beyond the adventures of the webbed hero.

Our first decent look at the Venom movie is finally here. Director Ruben Fleischer confirms the use of the Lethal Protector storyline for the film, and he also mentions another comic influence, Planet of the Symbiotes.

The Avengers: Infinity War might have every single Infinity Stone and 1,734 superheroes in their favour, but Venom has one thing that film fans want to see, Tom Hardy. These story pieces seem to be pretty good picks on the Studio's parts to bring life to the Venom character.

Filming for Venom continues on location in San Francisco later in January.

Given that Hardy is one of worldwide cinema's most intense, charismatic and unpredictable stars, and that the film's supporting cast includes Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, and Jenny Slate, the R-rated Venom is shaping up to be one of the fall's most-anticipated films, even if it's not officially part of the MCU.

Venom is scheduled to open in theaters on October 5, 2018.

Terri Schwartz is Editorial Manager of Entertainment at IGN.