Gifted’s Jenny Slate is reportedly in talks to star opposite Tom Hardy in the Sony Pictures Venom project.

Related: Venom News

Sony has refused to comment on any casting news but it is believed she will play a scientist. Slate would be joining the likes of Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed on the Ruben Fleischer directed Spider-Man stand-alone venture.

Although Venom is intrinsically linked with Spider-Man, the neighbourhood boy hero will in no way be making an appearance in the film, but Sony hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Venom starring in the Tom Holland lead Spider-Man sequels.

Tom Hardy leads the cast as Eddie Brock, who in the comics was a photographer; Brock later becomes Venom after bonding with a Symbiote. Venom, conceived as a supervillain, became somewhat of an anti-hero. A Symbiote is a sentient alien, with a gooey, almost liquid-like form.

Slate, who has just wrapped production opposite Jodie Foster and Sofia Boutella on Drew Pearce’s Hotel Artemis, is a comedy actress who also lends her voice to a number of animations, Over the past two years her voice has featured in The Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, The Lego Batman Movie, and Despicable Me 3.

Scott Rosenberg (“Jumanji”) and Jeff Pinkner (“The Dark Tower”) and Kelly Marcel will write the script for “Venom,” with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach producing the movie, along with Amy Pascal. Palak Patel and Eric Fineman are overseeing the project for Columbia Pictures.

As yet no plot details have been revealed for the Robert Fleischer directed spin-off, which will be the first in a number of planned films to be based on Spider-Man characters.

Venom is due to hit cinemas in October 2018.