Venom: All you need to know about Tom Hardy's antihero in the new Spider-Man spin-off
One of the most iconic villains from Spider-Man comics gets his own movie as Sony Pictures' Venom hits theatres this Friday. In the movie, an investigative TV journalist finds his body become the host for an alien with enhanced powers.
Bringing this enigmatic and complex Marvel character — the lethal protector — to the big screen is Tom Hardy. The 41-year-old actor, who previously starred in The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road and Dunkirk, plays the sharp-toothed title character and his human alter-ego, reporter Eddie Brock.
And before you enter the theatre, here's a handy guide of all you need to know about Venom.
Firstly, who is Venom?
The character was originally just a sentient alien costume — made out of a living organism known as Symbiote — that appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984). David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane created Venom as we now know it today when it made an appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988).
The Symbiote costume bonds itself to its host, granting them superpowers like enhanced strength, speed and regenerative healing abilities. Other than Eddie Brock, its other notable hosts have included Flash Thompson, Wade Wilson and Peter Parker. The Venom Symbiote first attached itself to Spider-Man and thus it also developed a Spidey-sense and many of the other abilities of the web-slinger.
Is the new film based on a comic book arc?
Yes, Venom in fact is chiefly based on two popular Marvel comic books. Director Ruben Fleischer revealed during 2017's Comic-Con Experience that it takes inspiration from Planet of the Symbiotes (1995) — a five-arc issue where Venom teams up with Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider to stop a global symbiote invasion — and Lethal Protector (1993) — a six-issue limited series where Venom teams up with the web-slinger to take down the Venom Symbiote's offspring.
How does Venom fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Venom is a grittier, more violent and more complicated character than his Marvel brethren. The movie is intended to be the first film in Sony's Marvel Universe or "Sony's Universe of Marvel Characters" — a standalone set in its own universe.
The film is a part of Sony Pictures’ efforts to create an extended Spider-Man Universe with the Marvel characters they license — ones not owned by Disney.
Haven't we seen Venom before though?
Venom did make his big screen debut more than a decade ago in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, where he was portrayed by Topher Grace. The Symbiote attached itself to Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker in the film, but once he figured out how to get rid of it, it looks like it went and attached itself to Eddie Brock.
So, what's the story with the new film?
Venom is a darker tale from the Marvel Comics superhero universe than what audiences have seen in recent films such as The Avengers, Ant-Man and Thor series released by Disney. Eddie Brock, an investigative TV journalist finds his body is invaded by an alien with violent instincts who feeds on a diet of human flesh.
The story is a Jekyll-and-Hyde tale where Hardy’s journalist character tries to keep Venom’s bad behaviour under control. He also has to contend with Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), owner of a villainous corporation with maniacal aspirations for saving humanity. When Drake's body becomes host to another symbiote, he becomes the villain we know as Riot, who is hell-bent on infecting the world's population with symbiotes.
Who else is in it?
Michelle Williams plays Anne Weying, the ex-fiance of Hardy’s Eddie Brock. The film also stars Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Michelle Lee, Mac Brandt and Jenny Slate in supporting roles.
Will Spider-Man make a cameo in the film?
That looks highly unlikely. However, Hardy has expressed interest in wanting to see Spider-Man in the Venom universe. At 2018 Comic-Con International: San Diego, he said he hopes the arch rivals will face-off later in the franchise. When asked if he would take on Spider-Man, Hardy said, 'What? Toe to toe with Tom Holland? I'll have a go, yeah.'
Venom director Ruben Fleischer too added, "Well, I think we can all agree that it would be pretty amazing to see Spider-Man and Venom face off in a film. I have to think that the studio is thinking the same thing and somewhere down the road, the characters will cross paths.'
So, for now, all we can do is hope.
Venom opens in cinemas worldwide on 5 October, 2019.
(With inputs from agencies)
Updated Date: Oct 04, 2018 15:10 PM