Riz Ahmed, coming hot off his star-making appearance in Charli XCX’s “Boys” music video (oh, and he was in a Star War last year, too), has begun the process of booking another high-profile role. Though confirmation has yet to come in, Deadline reports that the actor has entered the negotiations stage of taking a part in the upcoming Venom solo film. He has not committed to anything at present, but he’s now poised to join Tom Hardy in the film that is said to be completely separate from the main Spider-Man, and most definitely not a sequel to Life. Remember Life?

The thing is that Deadline’s item doesn’t specify which role Ahmed’s considering claiming, other than saying he is playing a “popular Marvel Comics character.” With the Venom plot still on the complete down-low, chance are that the identity of Ahmed’s character would constitute a major hint as to what it might be, which makes me think the actor’s being sold on one of two ideas:

1. Ahmed could be Carnage, already named as the film’s primary villain in a previous profile on Sony’s adventures in Spider-Man franchising that ran recently in The Hollywood Reporter. While Ahmed doesn’t really exude the psychotically violent strain of villainy for which Carnage is known, his build is right. Carnage was always leaner than the slightly beefier Venom, so the way he’d stack up against Tom Hardy would at least make sense.

2. The other possibility is that a non-Tom Holland Spider-Man may make a brief appearance or play a supporting role, and that’s where Ahmed comes in. The comic books have experimented with non-white Spider-Men (Spiders-Man?), and with this diegesis separate from Holland’s, a bit of recasting would be doable. Though, that runs the risk of confusing moviegoers, who do not quite share avid comic readers’ willingness to juggle multiple coexisting realities.

So, long story short: we’ll see! But with a projected release date of October 5, 2018 not so far off, casting will have to ramp up soon.

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