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We've been holding off full judgment on the Venom movie until we get closer to release. For this reason: Obviously the symbiote is going to have to be full CGI, and so with early trailers leaning into Tom Hardy's take on Eddie Brock -- going so far as to release a first trailer that notoriously had no Venom in it -- we knew that the best was yet to come as the movie's October opening drew near. This morning, the full trailer that played at San Diego Comic-Con arrived online for all to see, and there was plenty more of Venom in the reel... as well as an integral component to Venom that we haven't seen much of until now -- his split personality and dual identity.
Venom may look like Spider-Man (well, he looks more like Spidey in the comics than he does on screen here), but he differs from the wall-crawler in one important detail. Eddie Brock chooses to bond with the symbiote that turns him into Venom, whereas Peter Parker traditionally rejects the symbiote.
You see, the black costume that envelopes the body and grants its wearer the powers of Venom is alive. It's an alien, and it needs to bond with a source. In the comics, it chooses Peter Parker after Spider-Man has his costume destroyed in an off-world battle. At first, Peter loves the symbiote and its abilities. But as he eventually senses the malevolence of the alien, he finally rejects it and, feeling scorned, the costume bonds with Eddie Brock.
Ruben Fleischer's Venom will deviate from that origin, primarily because Sony can't use Spider-Man in this Venom origin story. But it is keeping basically all of the characteristics of the character, starting with its third-person personality split. "We are Venom" is a calling card for the anti-hero because it speaks to the fact that Eddie and the symbiote are two different beings, co-existing as they decide who to fight, and who to potentially leave alone. And the new trailer for Venom wisely leans into the relationship between Brock (Tom Hardy) and this alien that has taken over his body, when the journalists apologizes to a thug he's about to punch, or when he states, "We can not just hurt people."
The push-and-pull between human host and the symbiote is part of what makes Venom such an interesting character, and I have long believed that this is the reason why Venom hires Tom Hardy in the first place. Hardy is a fantastic actor who would be wasted if you didn't give him some dramatic material to shew on -- and then blessed him with CGI fangs with which to chew. I don't see Hardy being interested in holding down non-Venom scenes in Venom unless he has a compelling angle, and the split personality of the anti-hero is a Shakespearean tragedy worthy of its own big-screen thriller. It would be easy to jettison this character trait, as explaining it to a mainstream audience presents a challenge. But I'm personally thrilled that Sony and Fleischer kept that aspect of Eddie Brock's torn personality, as it makes Venom look like more than just a CGI cluster-bang.
Here's the new trailer, in case you missed it:
Venom co-stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Woody Harrelson. It opens in theaters on October 5. For more dates of big movies opening this year, bookmark our 2018 Movie Release Calendar.