Today's a big day because the first trailer for Sony's live-action Venom movie has finally arrived. What makes it a big deal? For one thing, the project is the hopeful beginning of a shared Marvel Cinematic Universe for the studio that owns a good chunk of rights to the world of Spider-Man. For another, this is a comic book villain who is never short on fan buzz.
The studio teased the trailer yesterday by releasing the first poster for the movie.
Watch the exciting first trailer below:
While we don't get to see a fully formed Venom in the above teaser, we do get to see the restless alien symbiote while getting to know Eddie Brock a bit. "Everyone's got their thing," says Hardy in a Brooklynish accent reminiscent of the one he used in The Drop. "Maybe it's a break-up"—cue Michelle Williams—"a death. An accident. Whatever it is, you used to be one thing and now you're something else." As he says this, a hazmat team investigates a mysterious crash site where the symbiote is sure to be hiding.
Based on the teaser, Eddie's placed into some lab for evaluation, most likely after he bonded with the symbiote, but now he's on the run from those who want to use him as a science experiment. "We all have our own problems. Our own issues. Our own ... demons," he finishes in the voiceover.
This is the second cinematic endeavor to feature Venom, the first being Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, where Topher Grace played Eddie Brock. Raimi's depiction of the character was not well received, and many felt Venom was more of an afterthought in a film that was already packed to the gills with too many villains. Tom Hardy is the second actor to take up the role of the alien symbiote's host, which is now the entire focus of the solo movie. The plot revolves around Brock moving from New York to San Francisco with Carnage expected as the main antagonist. The performance of Venom will be motion-captured by Hardy.
By drawing from classic Venom arcs and storylines from the 1990s like Lethal Protector and Planet of the Symbiotes, the film turns the character into more of a good guy than he was in the original Spider-Man comics; these stories turned Venom into a more nuanced character, thus making him more likable and relatable.
Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer directed a script by Scott Rosenberg (Life on Mars), Jeff Pinkner (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), and Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova). Starring alongside Hardy are Michelle Williams (Anne Weying), Jenny Slate, Riz Ahmed (Dr. Carlton Drake), Woody Harrelson, and Scott Haze. Even Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is rumored to have a cameo appearance as Peter Parker. Since the agreement between Disney and Sony is so complex when it comes to this hero, anything is possible.
Fans were in full theory mode after the project was announced and even posited that last summer's Life was a prequel to the Marvel movie, although it did turn out to be false.
This isn’t the first time a studio’s tried to hinge a film on a comic book villain or at least an antihero, but it's not always successful. Spawn, Catwoman, all three Punisher movies, and Suicide Squad were all panned by critics, failed at the box office, or both. Nevertheless, there's always something exciting about getting a bad guy as your protagonist; it helps make the superpowered action more fun and unpredictable, and Venom is no exception. In fact, he's always had his own built-in cache of good will and a perennial fan base since Todd McFarlane introduced him in the 1980s.
Venom attaches itself to movie screens on October 5.