Venom trailer 2

Venom director explains movie villain, why Venom works without Spider-Man

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Jul 22, 2018, 12:56 PM EDT

Director Ruben Fleischer revealed exclusive Venom footage at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday night, in which one of the movie's villains was revealed for the first time. We also scored some intel on the anti-hero's new look.

Based on a character originally from Marvel's Spider-Man comics, Venom tells the story of a man who bonds with a violent symbiotic entity that he struggles to control. The footage at San Diego revealed Tom Hardy's Venom going up against a rival symbiote named Riot, with much greater control over its gloopy mass. 

Venom comic cover

"Venom's skill set is kind of limited, Fleishcer told IGN. "Riot can do a lot more things with his goo, for lack of a better word. He can form weapons, he can attack, but he's also bigger, stronger, more powerful. 

Riz Ahmed's character, scientist Carlton Drake, may serve as one of Riot's hosts in the movie. In the comics, Riot is one of the synthetic symbiotes created from a Venom sample by Drake's Life Foundation. 

The convention footage also revealed a white symbol on Venom's chest made from the symbiote's veins, which evokes the spider-symbol from the comics without replicating it.

"Because our character does not originate with Spider-Man, it makes no sense to put a spider on his chest," Fleischer explained. "Part of what makes Venom so iconic are the graphic components, like those big white eyes, the big white teeth, the long red tongue, and obviously the Spider-Man symbol on his chest, but since we couldn't use the Spider-Man symbol, we wanted to give him a graphic element."

The Venom movie may have broken the link between the symbiote and Spider-Man that was established in the comics, but that doesn't guarantee that Spider-Man won't make an appearance. Fleischer is still being coy about that connection. 

"Who's to say whether it's with or without Spider-Man? But I will say this, that there's more than enough Venom to go around. Venom is a really huge character, and Hardy's an amazing actor, and so there's plenty to mine just from Tom's performance, the character, and the world that he inhabits." 

Venom opens in theaters on October 5 from Sony Pictures.

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