The first in what the studio hopes to be a full-on shared universe, there's been a lot of mystery and confusion over what exactly Venom is: what is Tom Hardy bringing? Is it in the MCU? How do you make a movie about a villain? The first teaser trailer thus got a rather mixed response from fans given its complete lack of Venom, but also the overall monotone stylings. The same can not be said about the new trailer, which promises a movie fitting of Hardy's talents.
Related: Venom: Every Update You Need To Know
Obviously, we actually get to see Venom in the shifting flesh, but that's just the tip of the meteorite. Join us as we break down everything seen, confirmed and teased in the new Venom trailer.
27. The Crash
We open with what was a key focus of the teaser and an essential part of any Venom story: the arrival of the symbiote on Earth. In the movie, it appears to come as part of a bigger crash, with the goo extracted from the wreckage. As for what exactly it's come from, that's hard to make out. It appears to be man-made, so could be a spaceship that somehow picked up the symbiote (a la the animated Spider-Man series), although this could be an early sign of the movie taking a leaf out of the Ultimate comics and it actually being a terrestrial product.
26. Life Foundation Claims The Symbiote
Wherever it comes from (something that may be a mystery in Venom itself), the symbiote is taken away from the crash in canisters (again, it's unclear if that's how they're found or if they're containing it) by the Life Foundation. A Spider-Man villain group, Life had many schemes but one of their most famous is manipulation of symbiotes, which we're likely to see here.
In the trailer, the collection is overplayed with the Foundation's head, Carlton Drake, saying, "Thank you for bringing us collectively to this moment. It is a moment that so many have dreamed of claiming. History starts today." It's trailer editing, so we must be careful to read too much into the dialogue's placement, and indeed this keeps it vague as to what their prior connection to the symbiote is, although the stealing of it suggests piggy-backing experiments.
25. In Association With Marvel
Venom, of course, originates from the pages of Marvel Comics, and so the movie has that logo; but it's not a Marvel Studios production. Instead - and in a seeming first - it says "In Association With Marvel", clearly distinguishing it from the creative side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That doesn't say anything explicit about any potential narrative connections, but it does show the House of Ideas making clearer distinctions over what's theirs.
24. Anne Weying
Although we're introduced to Eddie Brock via voiceover, the character we're first properly acquainted with is actually Anne Weying, played in Venom by Michelle Williams. In the source, Weying is most well-known for becoming She-Venom, but that's been suggested to not be the case here - at least in the first movie. Instead, it looks like Williams is playing a more standard love interest to Eddie, with her connections to the Life Foundation - she works for a firm that works for them - serving as an entry point to the story. She's the normality, the good side of Eddie (which really only makes She-Venom in a sequel more desirable, especially if it's pitched alongside Carnage).
23. Eddie Brock: Reporter
Unlike the previous big-screen version of Eddie Brock from Spider-Man 3, Tom Hardy's take on the character is actually a reporter as in the comics (Topher Grace's was a photographer). This faithful element was key to initial intrigue in the project, and in the new trailer we get a sense of Brock's probing interview style. Anne warns him the night before interviewing Drake to not get himself in trouble, but he doesn't seem to listen, jumping right into unwanted questions. In Eddie's own words, "I follow people who do not want to be followed." Reporting on college football games, he is not.
22. San Francisco
Although being a Spider-Man villain tends to have Venom associated with New York City, that's not where the movie's Eddie Brock resides. Both trailers have made a point of being set in San Francisco, with The City by the Bay forming a key backdrop. This may challenge those unfamiliar with Eddie, but it fits the comics nicely; he grew in SF and returned there after being infected by Venom, where he first ran in with the Life Foundation. That was part of the Lethal Protector arc, which we're getting some form of adaptation of here.
21. Carlton Drake
And so we get to Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake, head of the Life Foundation. Although visually a little different from the comics - print Drake is much more typical 1980s evil businessman compared to Ahmed's trim getup - from what we see of him in the trailer he too looks to be a pretty close take, if updated with the times.
20. Life's Dark Secrets
In his interview with Drake, Eddie asks about Life's evidently well-rumored misdeeds: "you recruit the most vulnerable for tests that end up killing people". There's plenty of comic-based crimes that could apply to, but quite obviously Eddie is talking about the experiments with the symbiotes on unsuspecting "volunteers". Clearly, Drake doesn't like being asked those sorts of questions and he's taken away - although that isn't the end of Brock at Life.
19. Eddie Is Hunted
After the interview, the trailer shows Eddie seemingly paranoid about being followed before confronting his tracker (played by Jenny Slate) - who just so happens to work for the Life Foundation. While this is framed as coming after his interview, narratively it might better fit before; he's approached by an inside source with information on the symbiote (pronounced "sym-bye-oat", apparently) experiments, which then leads him to setting up an interview that goes less than swimmingly.
18. Symbiotes Are Evolution
And about those tests... According to Brock's source, "Drake believes that the union between human and symbiote is the key to our evolution." Everything going on at Life is thus an attempt to tap into that presumed power, with Drake killing test subjects in repeated attempts to prove his theory. This may be the origins of the Five Symbiotes, which we'll get to in a moment, but what it also suggests is that Eddie is the first successful case, with Venom actually working with him, explaining why he becomes hunted.
17. The Five Symbiotes?
As already mentioned, the film is lifting heavily from Lethal Protector, which deals with Eddie Brock coming up against the Life Foundation. What also appears, however, is the Five Symbiotes: soldiers given extracts of the Venom symbiote who become ruthless killing machines known as Scream, Riot, Agony, Lasher, and Phage. They're incredible 1990s in conception and design, but could appear in the film. Eddie definitely comes across some feral subjects in the trailer, and while they're not soldiers these could be a suitable update of the idea. It remains to be seen if they're true nemeses.
16. Eddie Is Infected
Whatever the subjects are being called, Eddie is infected. In the trailer we're led to believe it's an accident while in Life's labs, although the sequence is so quickly edited and lacking context we can't be sure. Given the wider context of the trailer, though, it would seem Eddie breaks into the labs either after the failed interview or at a later date and is accidentally infected while looking for evidence.
15. Eddie Meets Venom
Now we get to the good stuff! However he's infected, Eddie goes home and feels properly ill from his newly-connected friend; he takes pills and tries to relax, only for his eyes to turn gray. And then he starts hearing voices. This is a more all-out psychological horror take on Venom's manifestation, with Eddie not yet knowing he's infected (typically versions have the terror, but also a usual immediacy). Previous rumors suggested a lot of the movie was Brock dealing with the mental ramifications of his infection and the internal conflict with Venom, and that's definitely what we're seeing here.
14. Eddie Discovers Venom's Powers
But it's not just an internal conflict. Life Foundation muscle turn up as for "Drake's property", obviously the symbiote infecting Eddie. They move to attack - and now Brock discovers his powers. We get a mixture of forceful tendrils bursting out of his hands (something that was actually shown, albeit briefly, in the teaser), then as the fight goes on he begins to form more cohesive, larger fists. Given his bemusement, Eddie's not in full control, but the fist definitely suggests an immediate synchronization with Venom. Of course, the best is left for last when he shoots a tendril out of his back as a goon runs in through the door.
13. Motorcycle Chase: Redux
One of the most mocked parts of the first teaser (minus the absence of the titular character) was a motorcycle chase with flipping cars. Was this telekinesis being introduced or simply a sequence awaiting CGI? Turns out it was the latter, with the new trailer showing Eddie chased by Life Foundation drones, and later using multiple Venom tendrils to throw cars back at his pursuers. Fitting of the trailer's mostly chronological setup, this would presumably come straight after the apartment fight, especially given Brock's reaction to that attack.
12. Eddie Tries To Control Venom
More psychological horror. Eddie, clearly disheveled by his experience thus far, tries to plead with Venom - making himself look outwardly crazy in the process: "If you're going to stay, you're only going to hurt bad people." This attempted negotiation says an awful lot about the film, making clear that this Eddie is a proper anti-hero trying to toe the line, and also giving a sense of the very literal mental degradation that he's going to go through. Based on the trailer, the pair communicates rather simply: Eddie speaks out loud, and Venom is heard in his head.
11. Eddie "Sees" Venom
It's a quick shot before a more all-out menacing moment from Venom, but we seem to get in the trailer a moment of realization of some form. Eddie is shown looking in a car, and while it's easy to assume he's contemplating stealing it, the eyeline makes it look more like he's taking in a reflection. Is Eddie seeing Venom, and if so can we expect the symbiote to outwardly manifest in more subtle ways, through his eyes or just under the skin?
10. Venom's Goals
For all the talk of the fight for control between Eddie and the symbiote, we don't get a fully clear idea of what exactly Venom wants in the film. Of course, that may be because it's the classic Venom motivation: control of a host, maximizing aggression and strength. The trailer does suggest, however, that it wants to do so with a level of complicity. After seeing his reflection, Venom takes control of Eddie and pins him against a wall and saying "The way I see it, we can do whatever we want. Do we have a deal?" Again, tricksy trailer editing could be at play here, but the implication is that Venom wants a subconsciously willing host to play with. And that "we" is going to be important later.
9. Eddie On The Run
But in all this Venom teasing, let's not forget the Life Foundation is still hunting Eddie Brock. The trailer features a brief moment from a sequence also glimpsed in the teaser of Eddie running from buggy-driving attackers in a forest. It's not immediately obvious where this fits into the previously discussed narrative, which may mean it's later on in the film leading towards a final confrontation - the fact he smashes through a tree without a thought definitely suggests he's gained some control of his powers. Given the rural setting, it may be linked to the original crash in some form.
8. Eddie Falls From A Great Height
What is a gritty superhero movie without a corridor fight? It's brief, but a couple of shots show soldiers with guns and Eddie jumping out a window. Based on his clothes, this comes straight after the first fight in his apartment, with him escaping to the alleyway with his motorcycle by a very long drop - another strengthening power of Venom (although it's not clear if he knew that when making the leap).
7. Venom Emerges (Properly This Time)
One of the trailer's absolute delights is the righting of the previous Venom fakeout: we get to see Eddie in the MRI machine as well established in the teaser, but this time it leads to actual symbiote takeover. This scene was initially presumed to be the first emergence of Venom, although the new trailer suggests that's back at Eddie's flat and thus puts the placement of this scene into question. As it stands, this feels like a desperate attempt to remove it - before they team up.
6. Venom At Anne's Work
Another moment from the teaser revisited is the shot of an office getting wrecked by some unseen force. This is presumably also from Venom's tendrils, just with the CGI (still) not finished. However, what makes this revealing is a different shot of Anne Weying in the same location, suggesting that this is the office of her subcontracted firm. Whether Eddie's freaking out here or it's under attack via Drake, we don't have enough to say, although hopefully, she won't end up in the simple damsel-in-distress role.
5. Eddie Confronts Drake
"Are you willing to sacrifice the one thing you hold most dear?" asks Drake, to which Brock seems to respond "You should be extremely afraid." OK, so again trailer editing means this is probably not the exchange in the finished movie, but it does show a confrontation between the pair after their initial meeting and Eddie's infection with the symbiote. This would back up the notion that he is somehow a successful subject, while Drake's question - especially when played over footage of Williams - puts further onus on Anne's role.
4. "Embrace Your Inner Anti-Hero"
Aside from all the footage, the trailer also reveals the movie's tagline: Embrace you inner anti-hero. That solidifies a lot of what's been said and shown about the film, with it very clear that this is a version of the character more in line with his own comic run than the villain most audiences are familiar with. Of course, as we've seen recently with the likes of Deadpool and Suicide Squad, there are many different definitions of the word "anti-hero", so that still leaves Eddie with a hint of ambiguity.
3. Eddie's Motorcycle Trick
We've already discussed the motorcycle chase, but this moment is worthy of its own spotlight. As things go on in the sequence, Eddie gets in more dire straights and ends up doing an uncontrollable jump and moving away from his bike, only for the symbiote to pull him right back in. The power itself isn't anything new or unique compared to what's already been shown, but the application definitely shows an inventiveness that will hopefully run through the film.
2. Venom, At Last
And, finally, after almost two full trailers, we get our proper look at Venom. In a word, perfect. The symbiote wraps itself around Brock's head looking not dissimilar to IT's Pennywise, and then it all locks in place to form a striking, pretty darn comic accurate take on the character: big slanted eyes, multiple sets of giant teeth, a big snaking tongue, and skin that glistens with white veins and moves of its own accord. We also get a brief look at the full-body setup for Venom, which looks just as fitting: it's even more spindly.
To top it off, this shot is clearly evoking Venom's first comic appearance, another show of understanding on the part of the filmmakers.
Read More: Tom Hardy’s Venom Looks Spot On
1. "We Are Venom"
The trailer ends not only with Venom revealed, but him proclaiming "We are Venom" to a terrified assailant who really wishes he'd had an early night. It's straight up cool, of course, but is also pretty revealing, advancing the debate between human and symbiote from early and showing Eddie fully giving in to Venom. That may mean the moment comes later on in the film than the trailer would have you believe, although that really depends on how long the conflict runs.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black release date: Feb 08, 2019