Sony has been banking on this summer’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” their co-production with Marvel, on being a big smash hit, and something that will kick off a Spidey-verse of movies, in a way that “The Amazing Spider-Man” film didn’t. We’re yet to see what those plans will be beyond just straight sequels to ‘Homecoming,’ but Sony has something else up its sleeve.

The studio has announced that “Venom” will hit theaters on October 5, 2018. Alex Kurtzman (“The Mummy“) will be directing the movie, from a script by Dante Harper (“Alien: Covenant“), but here’s the curious thing: if they stick the plans revealed last year, it might be its own separate franchise.

READ MORE: Has Warner Bros. Bitten Off More Than They Can Chew With DC Films?

That’s right, Venom will be outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe that contains Tom Holland‘s Peter Parker and it does make sense — Sony likely want to keep whatever characters they do have for their own. That being said, if they made a deal for Spidey, whose to say they won’t do the same (maybe down the line) with Venom, and it seems a bit silly not to connect those films, from a business and franchise perspective. However, from a creative standpoint, “Venom” opens a different kind of comic book door, arguably giving Sony the kind of gritty, more mature approach that Fox is having big success with right now with “Deadpool” and “Logan.”

“The idea…is that you can do things with Venom that you can’t do with Spider-Man,” Kurtzman said back in 2014.  “Venom is the representation of every line that will get crossed… he’s a much darker character.”

Either way, it’ll definitely give fans plenty to chew on in the months ahead. As for Kurtzman, it brings him back to the project he was going to direct circa ‘Amazing Spider-Man,’ before that whole thing got derailed.

The announcement has caused a domino effect for release dates. “Aquaman” has moved away from facing off against “Venom,” and instead grabbed the former slot held by James Cameron‘s delayed (again) “Avatar 2” on December 21, 2018. Sony currently has an animated Spider-Man movie slated for that date, but there’s been almost no news on that picture for a while, so we’ll see if that’s going to hit that deadline. [Slashfilm/SuperHeroHype]