Riz Ahmed has a lot of incredible credits to his name, including The Night Of, The OA, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But this latest role, if confirmed, could be his coolest yet.
The 34-year-old actor is in talks to star alongside Tom Hardy in the highly anticipated Spider-Man spin-off, Venom, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Though neither Marvel nor Sony have confirmed who Ahmed will play, insiders told THR that he won't be stepping into the role of super villain Carnage.
Sony announced that Hardy would be portraying Venom, the villain-turned-anti-hero, back in May to the surprise and delight of fans, Deadline reports. Though Venom is an alien symbiote bonded with various people (Mac Gargan, Flash Thompson, Lee Price), Hardy will be assuming the identity of the most popular character, photographer Eddie Brock.
While Venom has had a rocky history with Spider-Man, Variety reports that everyone's favorite web-slinger won't make an appearance in the new film, which is being created as its own franchise. Sony has also confirmed that production of the film, which will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, will begin in the fall, and the studio is planning on an Oct. 5, 2018 release date.
If you've seen any of Ahmed's work or listened to his music, there's no denying how talented and deserving of leading character roles he is. In Sept. 2016, Ahmed penned an emotional essay in The Guardian on what it's like to be typecast in Hollywood and his hopes on breaking down those harmful barriers so that he and other minority actors can be cast in a wider range of opportunities.
"As a minority, no sooner do you learn to polish and cherish one chip on your shoulder than it's taken off you and swapped for another," he wrote. "The jewelry of your struggles is forever on loan, like the Koh-i-Noor diamond in the crown jewels."
He continued: "You are intermittently handed a necklace of labels to hang around your neck, neither of your choosing nor making, both constricting and decorative. Part of the reason I became an actor was the promise that I might be able to help stretch these necklaces, and that the teenage version of myself might breathe a little easier as a result."