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Director Ruben Fleischer won't (or can't) say whether Spider-Man will appear in the upcoming  "Venom" starring Tom Hardy.

Talking to the LA Times, Fleischer said, "I honestly don't know what I’m allowed to say. I mean, I know the answer — I've seen the movie. But I don’t want to get in trouble for saying something I'm not supposed to."

That sounds to us like a "yes, Spider-Man is definitely in the movie," but of course that would ruin the surprise, if true.

Fleischer was also coy about the actual plot, saying only, "It’s a big-stakes action movie, so the goal probably involves saving something."

The movie has been billed as a standalone film that has nothing to do with the previous version of Venom as seen in "Spider-Man 3."

What Fleischer can tell us is that he's also glad Hardy isn't (for once) wearing a mask for most of the movie. “I think Tom is going to surprise a lot of people with his performance in this movie. It’s just a little different than we’re used to seeing him. There’s no mask in front of his face. He’s not playing a period. He’s just playing a contemporary guy. I think it’s just a little more of Tom than people have seen in a little bit."

Even if Spider-Man doesn't make an appearance in this movie, will he and Hardy's Venom battle it out down the road? Again, Fleischer can't say.

"As to where it goes from here and what worlds it intersects with, I think that remains to be written," Fleischer told the Times. "Ultimately it comes down to the studio's deals with the different characters and I don't really know the specifics of all that. I'm a pawn on that board. I'm one of the pieces."

"Venom" opens October 5.

[Via LA Times]