Update: We now have our first look at Tom Hardy's Venom, which looks great.
Sony's taking a big risk with Venom, their first foray into stand-alone films starring Spider-Man's rogues gallery, but not the wall-crawler himself. Like the upcoming Silver & Black, Venom may or may not be set in the MCU. There's a lot riding on the Ruben Fleischer-directed film, as it's one of very few R-rated superhero films, and one of fewer still which focuses on a primarily villainous character. Furthermore, Venom is a fan-favorite anti-hero, and his fanbase is very wary of attempts to translate him from the page to the screen; Sam Raimi played a key role in the modern superhero renaissance, and even he couldn't quite nail the character. Fans generally rejected Topher Grace's take on Eddie Brock in 2007's Spider-Man 3, but Sony is giving it another shot.
The first trailer for the anti-hero's first live-action solo film was met with criticism due to its generic imagery and 'smoke and mirrors' storytelling instead of offering any concrete details on the film. Who is the villain? Unknown. What is Brock's motivation? Unknown. What is the movie about? Unknown. One final, extremely important question also went unanswered: What does Venom look like?
The Teaser Trailer
The much-maligned teaser clip can be partially excused for its lack of big reveals due to dropping in February, a full eight months before the final release date. The closest thing to a genuine reveal seen in the trailer comes at the very end, in the form of a logo, which appears similar to the recognizable Venom face from the comics, complete with large, white eyes and gnashing teeth. Of course, it's only a teaser image, and isn't necessarily representative of what audiences will see in the finished film.
Viewers are also treated to a look at what appears to be a crashed alien spaceship, which is likely the source of the infamous black goo. It is then shown, contained in a glass canister, in what may be the only shot in the trailer with what appears to be finished CGI effects. Basically, viewers hoping for even a tiny peek at Venom in that trailer came away severely disappointed.
Despite the lack of answers, there are clues as to what audiences can expect when the movie hits theaters in October. There are shots in the trailer which are clearly meant to include CGI effects, such as the moment where a bunch of office workers are scattered by an invisible force. Presumably, the "invisible force" will be revealed to be Venom's symbiote tendrils in the finished film. Also, a lot of the car chase action shown in the trailer will likely be enhanced by computer animation showing off Venom's powers.
There's also a moment while Eddie Brock (or Tom Hardy's stuntman) is riding a motorcycle through a crowded city street while two large vehicles crash behind him, possibly as if they were pushed back by some unseen force. Could this also be a moment where Venom's tendrils lash out at potential threats? Or will the symbiote be able to separate from its host, take down the vehicles, and then return to him? What if Eddie is not on the run from human opponents, but from Venom itself?
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black release date: Feb 08, 2019