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Spider-Man spinoff starring Venom back on at Sony

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The supervillain gets a starring role

Sony Pictures will develop a film based on Spider-Man villain Venom, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The spinoff is not connected to the upcoming Spider-Man film that the studio is co-producing with Marvel.

Dante Harper, who wrote a draft of Edge of Tomorrow, will serve as screenwriter. There is no director attached to the project yet, but longtime Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are involved with the Venom film.

A movie based on Venom was in the works at Sony several years ago, following the symbiote's appearance in Spider-Man 3. Marvel Entertainment was set to produce the film, which was first announced in 2007 with Gary Ross as the director. Ross later left the project, and director Josh Trank (2015's Fantastic Four) expressed interest in taking over.

Last year Sony placed several planned films in the Spider-Man franchise on hold, including a third Amazing Spider-Man movie as well as a spinoff based on the Sinister Six. Sony also abandoned Venom, which now had Alex Kurtzman signed on to direct, at that time.

Sony is producing a new Spider-Man movie with Marvel that will debut in 2017. It will be a reboot of the film franchise and star Tom Holland as a high school-aged version of the character, who will make his cinematic debut in Captain America: Civil War this May. Spider-Man will hold a small but pivotal role in the Captain America film.