Tom Hardy is returning to the world of superheroes and comic books after being cast as the villain in the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff, Venom.

The actor, who is well known for his portray of the exceedingly menacing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, had been previously been reported to be in negotiations for the villainous role. The casting news was confirmed by Sony Pictures on Friday, who tweeted a selfie Hardy took while wearing a Venom t-shirt.

Plot details for Sony's Venom movie are being kept under wraps, but Hardy will be playing Eddie Brock, the character who first became Venom. 

Venom, one of Marvel's top villains, is an alien symbiote who needs a human host to survive. The character made his big-screen debut in Sam Raimi's 2007 outing Spider-Man 3, played rather head-scratchingly by That 70s Show's Topher Grace.

The Venom film will be part of a new Spider-Man universe that was briefly teased in last year's Captain America: Civil War, which introduced British actor Tom Holland as Peter Parker. Holland's solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, will be released later this summer.

Hardy notably played the hulking Bane in the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, in 2012.

He mostly eschews big franchises, and has since starred in the critically acclaimed drama Locke, action-thriller Mad Max: Fury Road,  Alejandro G. Iñárritu Oscar-winning The Revenant, and on the small screen in the BBC crime drama Peaky Blinders and Taboo.

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Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer will direct Venom from a script by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner.

Venom will begin filming this autumn with a slated October 5, 2018 release date.