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Venom director Ruben Fleischer compares movie to The Odd Couple

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Aug 31, 2018, 12:40 PM EDT

What happens when a bloodthirsty alien ooze takes up residence with an investigative journalist? If you said "wacky sitcom hijinks," you wouldn't be far off. 

While speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Venom director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) talked about the complex relationship that Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) has with the symbiote that bonds with him. The alter ego that emerges, Venom, is basically the physical representation of humanity's worst and animalistic instincts. 

“The symbiote bonds early on with Eddie and it’s kind of like The Odd Couple, but instead of sharing an apartment, they share a body,” Fleischer said. “The fun of the movie is the dynamic between them, with Eddie trying to rein in this basically unbridled id and find a balance with him. That theme of duality and trying to control your id — I think that’s what Tom and I responded to in terms of why this character is unique and special.”

This is something we've seen in the trailers, when Brock attempts to persuade the symbiote that they can only hurt bad people. Not having any of that, the symbiote personality feels that, with its abilities and sheer strength, it can do whatever the eff it wants. 

As for Hardy's performance, Fleischer explained that this is a side of the actor that we've never seen before. He also took a dig at the fact that Hardy's had a lot of roles where his face is obscured by masks, mainly The Dark Knight RisesMad Max: Fury Road, and Dunkirk.

“I think Tom is going to surprise a lot of people with his performance in this movie,” he added. “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.”

When it came to tone, Fleischer explained that they strove for a realistic execution that fell between the light-heartedness of Marvel and the drabness of DC.

“I feel like the casting, the aesthetic and the character himself all combine to make something that just feels different,” he said. “Tonally it doesn’t remind you of other movies. It doesn’t feel like we just tried to do what everyone else is doing…. The DC universe is so aggressively dark and the Marvel universe has become so light. It was kind of exciting to craft something that just felt a little bit more real and grounded and in our world.”

Venom swings into theaters Friday, Oct. 5. Starring alongside Hardy are Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, and Woody Harrelson.