Comic book movies are beyond a phenomenon, at this point. As a lifelong comic book lover and especially a fan of villains and anti-heroes, I was fully prepared to climb right aboard the “Venom” hype train. WOO WOO!!
Trailer was meh. And that’s not what a trailer wants to be in a genre that has extremes from “Guardians of the Galaxy” to “Suicide Squad”.
“Venom” is based on the extremely popular Marvel Comics anti-hero (although, to be completely square, anti-hero is a bit of stretch. The dude skews villain.) and is a Columbia Pictures production by way of Sony Pictures. Now, don’t get too excited, this is not an extension of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe that Disney is running. Maybe you’ve heard of it. This is the other Marvel Cinematic Universe. The one that has Spider-Man universes and characters but not Spider-Man. Oh boy. This is already tedious.
“Venom” is led by director Ruben Fleischer and stars Tom Hardy, in the titular role, alongside Michelle Williams.
Venom is an extremely popular character within the “Spider-Man” comics, first appearing in 1984. The character would have many stand-alone issues, would feature prominently as a villain in numerous “Spider-Man” arcs, and his symbiote origins would be included in countless meaningful storylines that touch A LOT of the Marvel universe. Tom Hardy has some big shoes to fill.
As stated, previously, the trailer was meh. Nothing outright offensive about it but nothing that was instantly drawing me in or setting it apart. Which, given my personal love of the character, worries me. I have faith in Tom Hardy’s consistent body of work. I enjoy watching his films and he has that sort of unpolished gruffness that Eddie Brock brought to the comics. It’s a fit. Maybe not a perfect fit but I can’t complain.
The design for Venom (fully realized Symbiote version) comes straight out of his look in the “Amazing Spider-Man” run of the mid to late 80s. A classic choice and, again, not something I’m mad at. In my humble opinion, the incarnation of Venom featured in the 90s “Spider-Man” animated series is the best version out there. More animalistic. Farther removed from the human host. But these are nitpicks.
It will be interesting (and in some ways disheartening) to see what Sony thinks to do with this MCU 2.0. Especially with respect to Venom. As I mentioned previously, Venom has a large role in the world of Marvel Comics and the divide of the house between Disney and Sony will surely create no shortage of creative roadblocks. Especially with Spider-Man resting firmly within the Disney MCU.
“Venom” is slated for release on October 5, 2018. Will you be there?
Featured photo credit: Columbia Pictures
Caitlin is a lean, mean writing machine based in Austin, TX. Her love of film began when she was shown “Rosemary’s Baby” way too early in life. She currently serves as the Lead Film Contributor for Shuffle Online; other notable bylines include The Financial Diet and Film Inquiry. Caitlin is a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics and the Women Film Critics Circle.