Sony Pictures' Venom unveils new footage from the movie at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, so we break down the extended trailer that screened. It's been a few years now since Sony struck a deal with Marvel Studios to introduce Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland has appeared as Peter Parker in three MCU films, but Sony is still looking to get the most out of their catalogue of Marvel characters. As such, Sony is bringing Venom back to the big screen, this time in a standalone adventure starring Tom Hardy and directed by Ruben Fleischer.
Venom hits theaters later this year and Sony got the jump on promoting it by releasing a teaser trailer earlier this year - though the video's lack of Symbiote action was criticized by fans of the Marvel character. When Sony released the full Venom trailer, which featured the reveal of the film's titular Symbiote, it was met with a much better reaction. Undoubtedly due to the popularity of the Venom character, Sony's movie is one of the more highly anticipated superhero outings of 2018. As such, it's only appropriate that Sony brought Venom to Comic-Con.
Related: Venom Cast and Character Guide
During the Sony Pictures panel, where the studio also teased animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, they unveiled new footage from Venom. The footage was described as an extended trailer, but with unfinished scenes so it's very unlikely Sony will release it online. Initial reactions pegged the Comic-Con footage as violent, funny and dark, with Hardy's performance as Eddie Brock/Venom being a particular standout. According to those in attendance, the Venom footage features extended and completed scenes that were in the first teaser, and they look much better. The footage also shows Venom battling against another symbiote, which is confirmed to be the Marvel Comics villain Riot and may be played by Riz Ahmed.
The Venom footage opens with Eddie walking into a convenience store and talking to the woman who works there. She tells him he doesn't look well and suggests meditating (it's clear she's suggested this to him before). At home later, Eddie lays down on the floor and meditates, and there are flashes of him running through the woods. He smacks his head on his couch and takes some pills, then calls someone and tells them he isn't feeling well. In another scene, he walks down an alley and sees Venom's reflection in a car window, but is suddenly flung against a wall.
Meanwhile, Riz Ahmed's character Carlton Drake, who works at the Life Foundation, is experimenting on humans with the symbiote; one man bends violently out of shape when combined with a symbiote. He believes human combined with symbiotes are the future of evolution. Drake tests a symbiote on Eddie, and Eddie later beats up a group of men at his apartment. His motorcycle is crushed between two cars, but Venom prevents it from killing Eddie. Venom and Eddie talk about what's next for them; Venom says his old life is over but Eddie doesn't want to just kill people. Venom emerges so he and Eddie can talk face to face. Venom heals Eddie and they combine.
Drake is proud of his creation by combining Venom and Eddie. Meanwhile Eddie gets used to the power that comes with being Venom and starts to like it. Eddie's romantic interest - Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) - isn't so sure about Eddie's new powers. There's a montage of action scenes, including a woman throwing spikes out of her back at a public market. Venom's arms turn into giant axes and he wipes out a bunch of baddies. Venom fights Riot. Then the footage concludes with a scene back in the convenience store. A man is bothering the woman who works there and Venom threatens to eat his face off. The man says, "What the hell are you?" Half of Venom's face gives way to Eddie's (so it looks like the Venom poster) and they say, "We are Venom." Then he eats the man's head. After, Eddie emerges and says goodnight to the woman in the store.
Based on the footage and reactions out of Comic-Con, Venom could very well prove to give comic book fans the version of this character that they've been hoping to see. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 included Eddie Brock/Venom (Topher Grace) in what his since become an infamously criticized adaptation of the character. As such, many are looking to Fleischer's Venom to offer a better live-action take on the anti-hero. And it seems the movie may do just that.
Of course, it still remains to be seen whether the full Venom film is as well received as this early footage. Undoubtedly, Sony and Fleischer would pick the best footage to showcase at an event like Comic-Con since it helps to build buzz for the movie's eventual release. It's possible Venom will ultimately leave fans disappointed. But, if the footage from Comic-Con is a good indication of what to expect, then fans are in for an exciting superhero movie. Either way, viewers will find out for themselves when Venom hits theaters in October.
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- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018