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Todd McFarlane’s take on why Venom bonded with audiences - but not critics

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Dec 20, 2018, 4:33 AM EST (Updated)

With Venom lighting up the global box office so well that it’s already spawned (no pun) plans for a sequel, comic book co-creator Todd McFarlane says the movie’s success is a great example of how bad reviews from the critics aren’t always enough to keep audiences away.

Just in time for Venom’s arrival on Blu-ray, McFarlane expressed to Yahoo! Entertainment his belief that the critics forgot to check their stodgy adult expectations at the door, even as fans couldn’t get enough of the alien symbiote. While the movie remains forever strapped to a lowly Tomatometer rating from reviewers, it’s gone on to haul in more than $850 million worldwide, including a $212 million domestic box office.

“I think at times … the critics get it wrong in that they forget their age,” said McFarlane, who had no direct involvement in the movie. “They come in, and they’re 42 years old, and they come in with their attitude and they’re going, ‘Stop it.’ What if you were 16 and you were watching this movie? You would love it.”

McFarlane didn’t hold back his feelings for Topher Grace’s portrayal of Venom in 2007’s Spider-Man 3, saying, “He didn’t really add a lot of weight.” But he’s totally on board for the way director Ruben Fleischer and actor Tom Hardy teamed up to contrast Venom’s hulking, larger-than-life size against Hardy’s beleaguered Eddie Brock. In fact, it’s part of the reason the 2018 version resonated with fans, he said.

“This thing delivered everything it was supposed to,” said McFarlane. “It was gnarly, it was nasty, it has a big cool Venom, which was what I was looking for. [That] was my bias — I just wanted to see the visualness of Venom that I had created 30 years prior.”

Now that Venom is available to watch from home, we can take a more leisurely stroll through Sony’s boot-up of Spidey’s biggest comic book nemesis. We’ll be on the lookout, especially, for all those signs we might’ve missed that there’s really an offbeat romantic comedy lurking somewhere deep within. Venom arrives today on Blu-ray, following its release last week to streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, iTunes, and FandangoNOW.

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