Venom is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the first film in Sony's Marvel Universe, adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a screenplay by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel, it stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom, alongside Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. In Venom, journalist Brock gains superpowers after being bound to an alien symbiote whose species plans to invade Earth.
After he appeared in Spider-Man 3 (2007), Sony unsuccessfully developed several iterations of a film based on Venom. Work began in March 2016 on a version that would start a new shared universe featuring the Marvel characters that the studio possessed film rights to. Sony also intended for Venom to share the world of the MCU's Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), but ultimately distanced the film from the Spider-Man character. In March 2017, Rosenberg and Pinkner were set to write, with Fleischer and Hardy added in May. Principal photography began that October in Atlanta, before moving to New York City and San Francisco. The film was primarily inspired by the comic miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector (1993) and story arc "Planet of the Symbiotes" (1995).
Venom was released in the United States on October 5, 2018, and received generally negative reviews from critics for its script and inconsistent tone. However, some praised Hardy's performance and the chemistry between Brock and Venom. The film went on to be an unexpected box office success, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2018 with over $855 million worldwide and setting several box office records for the month of October. A sequel is expected to be released on October 2, 2020.