The first official teaser trailer for Venom premiered Thursday morning with enough drama, explosions, angry screaming, and Tom Hardy strutting down the street to satisfy even the most rabid fans.
But before we can really get into the trailer and all that pseudo-science goodness, it's important to know what we're dealing with here. So, who is Hardy playing? We don't hear his name in the trailer, but the main character of Venom is named Eddie Brock.
In Marvel's comics, Eddie is an investigative journalist who gets one-upped by none other than Spider-Man, who proves one of Eddie's big stories to be a total lie. Between being publicly disgraced and his wife leaving him, Eddie falls into a deep, dark hole. He begins working out obsessively but very quickly loses his mind.
Now, while all of this is going down, it just so happens that Spider-Man, while adventuring through space, found the symbiote and brought it back to Earth with him. He thought it was some sort of alien clothes-making technology (seriously, Peter?) and kept it at his side until the symbiote ventured off and found another host. The empathic parasite latched onto Eddie's emotional trauma in order to feed off the darkness inside him.
And thus, Eddie became Venom, one of Spider-Man's greatest adversaries. The symbiote — that black goo we all remember so well from the marvel that was Spider-Man 3 (2007) — gave Eddie all the same powers as Spider-Man plus so, so much more.
When Sony Pictures first announced the Venom film, many fans wondered how Eddie's story would come to fruition without a clear connection to Spider-Man, as his origin is so intrinsically tied to the webslinger. While Sony producer Amy Pascal has said that Venom will take place in the same world as Tom Holland's Spider-Man and the rest of the Avengers, Disney doesn't seem so keen on a crossover. Marvel boss Kevin Feige has said there's no plan to fold the R-rated villain into Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe. And since Marvel and Disney are undoubtedly trying to figure out where another R-rated comics character, Deadpool, fits into the MCU after Disney picked up the Merc With a Mouth from Fox, it feels like folding Venom into the story might be a bit too much at the moment.
None of this is to say, though, that Venom couldn't make reference to Spidey.
The new trailer focuses way more on the symbiote than some fans might realize at first glance. The obvious shot of the hyperintelligent black goo comes when Riz Ahmed's Dr. Carlton Drake opens a storage container to show off several cylinders of the symbiote, which is thrashing around inside its glass cages. Several white lab-coated doctors look on in awe.
It seems like Dr. Drake gets hold of the symbiote after an alien ship crashes on Earth. One of the trailer's most mysterious shots is of what looks to be an alien craft surrounded by workers and, later, people wandering around in hazmat suits. Could this be how the symbiote gets to Earth without Peter Parker's help?
The other time we see reference to these containers filled with the symbiote is when Hardy's Eddie makes his way into a dark, mysterious facility. If you look into the glass room you can see several of the containers sitting around among some equipment. Maybe this is where the symbiote attaches itself to Eddie in the first place.
The facility itself might be hinting at the plot of the film. See, in Marvel's comics, Dr. Drake is a member of the Life Foundation, a paranoid group of humans who were obsessed with assuring a Utopian future for their wealthy clients. To protect that future, the foundation forcibly spawns five other symbiotes from Venom: Riot, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Scream. These five symbiotes become the foundation's guardians and wreak havoc in its name.
If the symbiote attaches itself to Eddie before Dr. Drake and his team can forcibly spawn more symbiotes, then it would make sense for Eddie to be under some stress. We have some proof from the trailer that the symbiote attaches itself to Eddie at some point during the film. A blink-and-you-miss-it shot right before some people and computers go flying shows Eddie raising his left arm, which is darker than the rest of him and seems to be covered in the symbiote.
At the end of the trailer, we also get to see Eddie in some sort of MRI- esque machine, screaming as his veins turn black. Maybe this is the foundation's attempt to spawn the symbiote, permanent damage to Eddie be damned.
We'll have to wait until Venom premieres in theaters on October 5 to get any real answers.