Riz Ahmed is also on board with Ruben Fleischer directing.
Sources say Williams would play a district attorney and possibly Hardy’s love interest. Sony had no comment on the casting.
Sony execs and Fleischer had been meeting with multiple actresses for the part for the past month, with production beginning next month. Sony recently released the trailer for Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” which is already generation Oscar buzz for Williams.
The studio has already made it clear that “Venom” will play no part in the Spider-Man universe, and that the film will stand on its own.
Scott Rosenberg (“Jumanji”) and Jeff Pinkner (“The Dark Tower”) 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.
“Venom” is set to hit theaters on Oct. 5, 2018.
Since its inception in 1988, the alien symbiote has been one of “Spider-Man’s” most popular characters, making it a top priority for the studio to get the movie off the ground. Venom made his first big-screen appearance in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3,” where he was portrayed by Topher Grace.
Throughout the history of Marvel Comics, Venom has appeared alongside Spider-Man, Iron Man, Deadpool, Hulk, and other Marvel Comics characters.
In recent years, Williams has focused more on prestige pics. Her last big studio film was Disney’s “Wizard of Oz” prequel, “Oz the Great and Powerful,” in 2013. The Academy Award-nominated actress is coming off one of the best-reviewed performances of her career, in “Manchester by the Sea,” which earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
Her upcoming films include Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck,” Fox’s musical “The Greatest Showman on Earth,” and Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” all of which could figure in the awards season conversation.
She is still attached to star in the Janis Joplin biopic “Janis” as well as spy drama “All the Old Knives” opposite Chris Pine.
Williams is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment.