Tom Hardy will portray Venom in the upcoming film of the same name this fall, but he wasn't the first actor to play the alien symbiote-bonded Spider-Man character Eddie Brock. The first live-action portrayal of Venom arrived way back in 2007, when Topher Grace infamously offered his interpretation in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3. His 2007 take on the character was, putting it lightly, not received particularly well.
Grace seems happy to see Hardy in the part. Speaking with Inverse, he explained, “To me—I truly mean this—I think Tom is the guy to play that role. I’m thrilled to watch it as a fan. I really mean that. I think he’s just the best dude.”
As a committed reader of Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man comics when he was younger, Grace said he's excited to see Hardy's version, which sticks more closely to the source material than Raimi's.
Of course, he doesn't completely write off his Spider-Man 3 work, even if it did stray from the source material. “I understand Sam’s interpretation, which was to do a dark version of Tobey [Maguire]’s character. I was thrilled because I was such a fan of the character, but I was aware of how it was different from what I had grown up reading. I thought it was cool, but I’m really excited to see [Hardy’s iteration]. That’s the character I grew up with.”