Riz Ahmed in talks to join Tom Hardy in Spider-Man spinoff 'Venom'

Riz Ahmed (REX/Shutterstock)

By Justin Kroll

Riz Ahmed is in early talks to join Sony’s Venom movie.

Ruben Fleischer is directing the spinoff of the Spider-Man franchise, and Tom Hardy is attached to star.

Related: Spider-Man Will Not Appear in Tom Hardy’s ‘Venom,’ Says Kevin Feige (Watch)

While details on Ahmed’s role have not yet been revealed, sources say that he’ll be playing a popular Marvel Comics character. Sony had no comment on the casting.

Sony has already made it clear that Venom will play no part in the Spider-Man universe, and that the film will stand on its own.

Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji) and Jeff Pinkner (The Dark Tower) will write the script for Venom, with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing the movie, along with Amy Pascal. Palak Patel and Eric Fineman are overseeing the project for Columbia Pictures.

Venom is set to hit theaters on Oct. 5, 2018.

Since his inception in 1988, Venom has been one of Spider-Man’s most popular characters, making it a top priority for the studio to get the movie off the ground. Venom made his first big-screen appearance in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, where he was portrayed by Topher Grace.

Throughout the history of Marvel Comics, Venom has appeared alongside Spider-Man, Iron Man, Deadpool, Hulk, and other Marvel Comics characters.

Ahmed is coming off a banner year, both on the television and film front. He starred in HBO’s critically acclaimed The Night Of, which earned him a SAG and Emmy nomination, and followed that up with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He also appeared in Jason Bourne opposite Matt Damon.

Ahmed’s other credits include the Toronto Film Festival movie The City of Tiny Lights and a recurring role on Netflix’s The OA, as well as a guest starring role on HBO’s final season of Girls that earned him rave reviews. He just wrapped production on The Sisters Brothers opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, and John C. Reilly.