NOTE: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Venom
The first trailer for the Venom movie isn't what fans expected - but it revealed more than most realize. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say the trailer was disappointing for fans who wanted to see Venom in his own movie trailer, and few could call that hope unfounded. Still, there may be reasons why the Venom trailer didn't show the symbiote - and anyone who thinks the trailer didn't reveal anything at all wasn't paying attention. Nods to the comics being adapted, the first clues of a Venom army, and even hints to piece together the movie's plot were all there.
Provided fans slowed down to catch them, of course. So to make sure that Venom enthusiasts and movie fans take every detail, tease, and Easter Egg possible away from the Venom trailer, we're breaking it all down, frame by frame. That may mean touching on some minor SPOILERS and plot twists, but with that warning out of the way, let's get started.
12. Eddie Brock's No Stranger To Hospitals
The shots of Eddie Brock laying inside an MRI machine may be a bit more deceptive than audiences would assume - especially in future marketing, TV spots, and fast-paced montages. The later shots in the trailer definitely reinforce the idea that this scene - Brock in the machine, as two techs watch the scans of his body - precedes his awakening (and energetic freakout). But that isn' the only reason that Eddie could be seen in a hospital in the course of Venom's story.
Fans familiar with Eddie's supervillain/antihero adventures may be less familiar with his origin-- and we mean his origin story before crossing paths with the alien symbiote to become Venom. Eddie was actually diagnosed with cancer, beginning his spiral downward into rage and resentment. The fact that Michelle Williams appears in a hospital hallway supports this storyline, since she'll be playing Anne Weying, Eddie's ex-wife in the comics.
11. San Francisco is No Coincidence
When the Venom trailer hit the Internet, many fans eager to see the symbiote in action were left disappointed due to the emphasis on less scintillating footage. This aerial shot of the Golden Gate Bridge is a prime example, taking up several seconds of the trailer while communicating... well, that the movie takes place in San Francisco, California. And presumably, not much else. But to those who know their Venom history, this shot is a clear nod to the fans pertaining to the comic book arcs acting as inspiration for the film.
Star Tom Hardy had previously revealed that the Venom movie would be based on Lethal Protector, the villain's first title comic. Having proven to a be more complicated than the rest of Spider-Man's regular villains, Marvel awarded Eddie Brock the series putting him squarely in the spotlight. His truce with Spidey came with a relocation to San Francisco, which suggests the filmmakers wants fans to know they're taking that story to heart.
10. The (First of Many) Mystery Labs
One might think that given the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony would be interested in keeping the previous Spider-Man films OFF the audience's mind. But these shots of dimly-lit, mysterious laboratories conjure images of the more suspicious, sinister storylines of the Amazing movies. Those films were intended to lay the foundation for Venom and more comic book villains, so it makes sense on one level.
But the real insights to be gleaned from this location come in paying attention to the details. The backdrops, the lighting, even the wardrobe worn by Eddie. Not just in this segment of the trailer, but the quick cuts that follow. For starters, we'll ask the obvious question: what has brought Eddie Brock to a secret lab, after hours, dressed in a somewhat disheveled choice of sweatshirt, t-shirt, and jeans? The following shots shed some light. Beginning with that familiar canister sitting on a table directly in front of him.
9. The Remains of a Symbiote Murder?
The best example of why noting the details can pay dividends is in this shot, clearly set in the same lab, at the same time of day, and with Eddie's t-shirt visible - meaning he's the person examining what's concealed beneath the thin plastic sheet. The contents of the table aren't explicitly shown, but we can see enough to deduce some grisly details. The raised portion of the sheet sure looks like it's a standard morgue set-up, with a corpse's leg and upright foot tenting the plastic. But Eddie soon finds... there isn't enough room on that table for the rest of the body.
Quick glimpses of the surrounding surfaces show this to be a work station possibly examining the incomplete remains of a human body. We don't have the stomach to wonder what the small puddles of thick liquid, or the fleshy pieces separated from the corpse really are. Fans can spin some theories on what amounts to a somewhat generic, 'clandestine government cover-up,' but the rest of the trailer may shed light. Mainly because of the way that Eddie exits this facility.
8. Space Shuttle Crash Site
The most intriguing aspect of the trailer is the shot above, resembling a crash site of some sort, cordoned off by police and emergency vehicles (and a healthy complement of police or federal agents). It's tempting to link it to the human remains mentioned above, as a possible scene of alien-symbiote-savagery... but one detail seems particularly important. That large metal object in the upper left corner, partially obstructed by trees.
If we didn't know any better, it would seem to be a type of space shuttle. There's the shape of the craft, and also the large parachute deployed and tangled in a nearby tree behind it. The following shot seems to fit the idea of a large, machined bulkhead, but it doesn't answer the question: what role does a crashed space shuttle play in this story? The answer is almost certainly alien symbiotes, but it relies heavily upon the shadowy figures who are introduced next.
7. The Life Foundation's Up To No Good
It just wouldn't be a story of secret government cover-ups, extraterrestrial first encounters, or alien massacre without black government vehicles driving convoy-style through fog as thick as the plot. The trailer is encouraging audience sto pair this footage with that of the space shuttle crash site, so savvy superhero fans may be resistant to make that connection. But the night setting and style do seem to match, and if the government is uncovering anything in that mysterious crash, it makes sense that it would hurry away its findings (just ask any Roswell enthusiast, and they'll back that theory up).
The real question, though, is if it's actually the U.S. government doing the cover-ups at all. The details we know about the villainous or antagonizing forces in Venom offer a solution, but even if they didn't, the silhouette cast by the figure overseeing the shipment leaves little doubt as to who is 'in the know' when it comes to this extraterrestrial intrigue...
6. Multiple Venom Symbiotes Being Tested
Finally, a shot of some alien symbiote! This may be the most exciting few seconds of the trailer for fans hoping to see Venom in all his gooey, black, evil menace. But as thrilling as it may be to watch a writhing canister of CG liquid, fans shouldn't miss the fact that that canister... isn't alone. At the start of the shot, another container of a similarly fluid substance can be glimpsed, though it isn't as energetic as the one that finishes the shot. A small detail, but one that seems to confirm a major part of the movie's plot. To put it simply, Venom will face multiple alien symbiotes in his big screen solo adventure.
That's not a shock to those who have been following the movie closely, since the first official photo confirmed Venom would introduce The Life Foundation, a major player in the comic arc which introduced five symbiotes in total: Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony. It's presumed that actor Riz Ahmed is playing the head of the company, so it's no surprise to see him taking in his groundbreaking new test subjects.
5. Eddie Brock Goes On The Run
At this point, it seems that story threads are taking shape, but the actual way in which they connect is harder to pin down. The Life Foundation has gotten its hands on five alien symbiotes, potentially - which may or may not have originated from the crashed space shuttle disaster. We also have footage of Eddie entering a laboratory in secret, and uncovering human remains that seem to have had a run in with catastrophe, possibly even an alien symbiote in need of a meal. Could the two plot lines be connected? If they are, it explains why Eddie winds up fleeing the lab, alarms blaring.
His presence could be explained a number of ways, since he is, in the comics at least, a journalist. Has he found his way into The Life Foundation to uncover what mad science they're up to involving an alien creature? Or is the sequence set later in the film, when Eddie Brock and his own alien symbiote draw eachother closer so that Venom may be born? We can't answer just yet, but a few more shots in the trailer should be worked into any speculation.
4. First Glimpse of Eddie Brock Going Venom?
Yes, it seems that the claim from disappointed fans that 'the Venom trailer doesn't even have any Venom IN it' may be categorically false, judging by this single image. Sure, it's not as thrilling or impactful as your typical 'hero' shots in a blockbuster movie. But who says it had to be? Describing the shot of the Venom won't get us anywhere - it appears to be covering his arm in 'blackness' - but the surroundings are worth an extra look. And first off: he may be wearing a hoodie in this transformation shot as well, but it's not a match for the one seen in his other shots.
Given that the movie is expected to tell of Eddie encountering the symbiote, and eventually, and painfully coming to some kind of working relationship, the shot makes sense. If it's horrifying to him, the first glimpse of the symbiote covering his hand as he warns off whoever is near him also makes sense. But that looks to be a dining room chair in the background... which suggests a far more domestic scene than Eddie would seem to enjoy by the time he's running into Venom. Could Eddie's first encounter with the symbiote actually date back to before the other events of the film, specifically the arrival of the other alien symbiotes?
3. Symbiote Psychic Attack, or Unfinished CGI?
Thankfully, the first Venom trailer also has its share of shots that we have no clue how to interpret. Take, for instance, the above shot. An office space is violently disrupted by unseen forces, parting the room's computers, telephones, monitors, an even workers through some unseen force. So unless Sony intends to give the alien symbiotes or Venom a gift of The Force, there's something not being seen that is key to deciphering this location.
The simplest explanation may be the absence of a symbiote tendril or whip, which has yet to be inserted by digital artists, leaving only the physical props to make an impact on their own. But it's also possible that fans are witnessing the first dose of the symbiotes' psychic abilities. In the comics upon which the movie is based, it was the Venom symbiote's psychic shrieks that brought the other symbiotes to Earth... so granting some, or one of the symbiotes actual psychic powers wouldn't be too much of a stretch. Only time will tell.
2. Disaster in A Speeding Ambulance
On its own, the shot of an ambulance flipping would be passable as random action, perfect to imply far more carnage in a trailer than it represents in the movie. But given all the surrounding context and appearance of emergency vehicles, it may be far more telling than it appears. An ambulance, lights blazing, presumably taking a wounded man or woman to a hospital from the scene of an accident, is somehow violently veered off of the road without any sign of what could have caused it. If something happened inside the vehicle to make that panic occur, and one occupant was headed for a hospital, the rest of the trailer may provide the answer.
There are too many pieces to assemble into one clear picture just yet, but a fuzzy one begins to emerge. If the emergency workers in that ambulance were to come face-to-face with a symbiote, it makes sense to see dismembered body parts being studied elsewhere in the trailer. And if that vehicle was taking a living casualty from the space shuttle crash, it doesn't take too much imagination to know what caused the accident. The only question is... where does Eddie fit into this story?
1. Eddie Brock Goes Into a Venom Rage
Eddie Brock's trip into an MRI begins quietly enough, and even the moment he awakes inside of it is relatively calm. But to those Marvel fans taking notes on the movie fiction surrounding alien symbiotes, this shot suggests that magnetic resonance imaging is a definite turn-off. What else could explain the sudden, violent spasms, all leading to the appearance of black veins rising beneath Eddie's skin? The doctors watching it happen seem more stunned than panicked at what they're watching, so perhaps Eddie's partnership with the symbiote goes on longer than expected before emerging as the Venom fans know and love.
Whether this shot is Eddie meeting the new friend he made in The Life Foundation lab, or near a downed space shuttle, one thing is for sure: things are going to get much worse for Brock before they get any better.
So there you have it, every tiny detail, apparent reveal, and nod to the comics in Venom's first trailer. More subtle touches may be caught by fans, so be sure to let us know what you've spotted in the comments.