Venom is kind of like Spider-Man's evil twin. The character is a symbiote, an alien lifeform that attaches itself to a sentient host. He gives the host many abilities, some of which are similar to Spider-Man's except, instead of shooting elastic webs, the host's body essentially becomes them at will. The two together become a formidable force.
With some versions of the character, Venom is an anti-hero, while in other interpretations, he's a straight-up villain. What's unique about this movie is that it's a Venom standalone film which means the focus will not be on Venom vs. Spider-Man; it's all about Venom and his host. We are expecting to get a pretty good look into Venom's abilities and the power dynamic between symbiote and host. Below, we've rounded up all of the information we know about the upcoming movie from Sony (it's outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and what we're hoping to see from its showing at San Diego Comic-Con. [SDCC update: some footage of Venom has been released at Comic-Con]
What It's About
The Venom standalone movie will follow provocative journalist Eddie Brock as he gets as he's infected by the Venom symbiote. The degree of power that it has over its human host is in a state of constant flux, so there's always some question as to who is in the drivers seat. It looks like this symbiote has some plans beyond kickin' it inside Eddie though.
Venom attaches itself to Brock when he investigates a shady corporation called the Life Foundation which is rumored to be taking "volunteers" and testing something on them that inevitably ends in their death. Conflict ensues as Brock is unsure how much control he has over Venom.
- Venom will be directed by Ruben Fleischer who also directed Zombieland and Gangster Squad.
- There are several writers credited with penning the screenplay, including Kelly Marcel, Will Beall, Scott Rosenberg, and Jeff Pinker.
- Eddie Brock and Venom will be played by hollywood's favorite Australian bad boy, Tom Hardy who has featured in titles like Inception, Mad Max, and The Dark Knight Rises.
- Riz Ahmed who you may know from HBO's The Night Of, plays Carlton Drake, the corporate hotshot who has some morally questionable ideas about what the symbiotes mean for humanity.
- Michelle Williams from Manchester By The Sea will play Ann Weying, an employee for Drake and Brock's love interest.
- Jenny Slate, the comedian who voices Marcel The Shell and has appeared Parks and Recreation, will play Dora Skirth, a young scientist who helps Brock figure out what's going on with the symbiotes.
- Woody Harrelson will reportedly feature in the film, but we don't know how.
What Has Been Released So Far
A full length trailer has been released for Venom that opens with a look into Eddie Brock's day-to-day life. He's a reporter who has made a living by asking powerful people questions that they don't want to answer; this is how he meets Carlton Drake. While trying to learn more about Drake's nefarious activities, he encounters a human who has a symbiote inside them and unwittingly transfers it to Brock. When Brock starts hearing voices in his head and watches his limbs turn into black, dextrous matter, he's pretty sure something is up.
We get a good look at Venom, and in the trailer and he is pretty freaky looking, with an incredibly long tongue and multiple rows of teeth. His amorphous black musculature is probably the coolest part though; it erupts from Tom Hardy when he needs to fight some guys off, re-attach himself to a motorcycle in mid-air. You know, normal stuff.
What We Want At Comic-Con
Sony will have a Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con that, in all likelihood, will include Venom. We are unsure who will attend, but we hope the cast and crew will be there.
One of the biggest remaining mysteries about the movie is how Woody Harrelson will feature in the plot. Hopefully someone on the panel, preferably Harrelson himself, will officially confirm the casting and offer some insight into his character.
A really big question that still needs answering about Venom in general, is whether he will crossover with Spider-Man or any other MCU characters. The answer is probably no for this movie. The issue is that while Disney owns the film rights to all the Avenger characters, Sony owns the film rights to the Spider-Man characters (including Venom), and only loaned them to Disney so that they could make a Spider-Man franchise that would be a part of the Avengers. For now, it looks like Sony is creating their own MCU which means a crossover is unlikely.
Luckily, we won't have to wait too long after San Diego Comic-Con to see the movie. Venom hits theaters October 5.