Not much was known about the Venom standalone movie when it was first announced by Sony. Many said it was utter lunacy if the studio wasn't going to include Peter Parker and besides, why not just let Disney have access to more of the Spider-Man characters instead of trying to make a parallel cinematic universe? Homecoming was such a rousing success that a Venom standalone film seemed a bit odd, but now that details about the plot are coming to light, it's starting to make more and more sense.
According to reports by Collider and ComicBook.com, the movie, directed by Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy, will be based on two well-known Marvel comic arcs: Lethal Protector and Planet of the Symbiotes. Fleischer and Hardy appeared virtually at Brazil's Comic Con in Sao Paulo during Sony's presentation to break the news. There was no footage or teaser for the project, which is still being filmed, but they did reportedly affirm the storylines they were using for the script and that the movie would be set in San Francisco.
Venom: Lethal Protector is a six-issue series written by David Michelinie and drawn by Mark Bagley and Ron Lim. The 1993 storyline focuses on the Eddie Brock version of Venom as he makes a pact with Spider-Man not to commit any more crimes. He moves to San Francisco where he decides to protect the weak and poor. In the end, he fights alongside Spider-Man to defeat a bunch of symbiote spawn known as Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony. This arc was significant for Venom because it turned him into an anti-hero and gave Brock his first solo comic book.
Planet of the Symbiotes came two years later from Michelinie and artists Ralph Cabrera (#1), Joe St. Pierre (#2), Kyle Hotz (#3), Darick Robertson (#4), and Steve Lightle (#5). This was only five issues and centered on Venom, Spider-Man, and Scarlet Spider defeating an army of symbiotes attempting to take over the earth. What made this series noteworthy is that the story explored Eddie's relationship with the symbiote and his doubts about who is really in control.
Based on these two storylines, the Venom movie will probably involve Brock (Hardy) facing off against other symbiotes and maybe even Carnage. Setting the film on the West Coast makes a ton of sense as it allows the character to distance himself from the baggage of New York, which most of us immediately associate with Peter Parker/Spider-Man who won't be showing up here. He might not even exist within the same universe as this version of Venom. If Sony can make Venom the hero (or even the anti-hero) and pull it off, a whole new world of possibilities will open for this universe that won't need Spider-Man to survive. During his appearance in Brazil with Fleischer, Hardy reportedly said he would do the character justice, delivering on the action and dark humor while in the role.
Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Reid Scott, and Scott Haze are also confirmed to star in the movie with Hardy. Venom bonds with theaters on October 5, 2018.