'Venom' sneak peek reveals Tom Hardy as villainous Eddie Brock

Venom in the comics (Image: Marvel)

We’ve had six (!) Spider-Man movies since 2002, and while one might expect such a glut of wall-crawler adventures to lead to audience fatigue, the success of last year’s Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Spider-Man: Homecoming ($334 million domestic; $880 million global) suggests otherwise. Thus, Sony is moving forward with its plans for a spinoff — Venom, about the web-slinging hero’s arch-nemesis. With Tom Hardy in the title role, expectations are slowly escalating for the upcoming film, which is due this October. And now, we have our first look at the headliner in character.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in Venom (Photo: Frank Masi/Sony Pictures)

Since Sony is no doubt eager to reveal its black-tendrilled, giant-fanged symbiote creature via a later trailer, this initial glimpse is simply of Hardy as Eddie Brock, the man who’s eventually taken over by the parasitic alien Venom. More revealing, instead, is a new video from Brazil’s Comic-Con 2017. In that clip (below), director Ruben Fleischer provides some inside information on the two comic-book storylines that are inspiring the film’s plot: Lethal Protector, which concerns Brock relocating to San Francisco and battling other Venom symbiotes, and Planet of the Symbiotes, which involves a planetary invasion by not-so-nice symbiotes. All of which, it seems, implies that in this incarnation, Venom will be less of a straightforward villain than a monster who finds himself battling even worse creatures in order to stave off apocalyptic disaster.

Given that Hardy is one of international cinema’s most intense, charismatic, and unpredictable stars, and that the film’s supporting cast includes Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, and Jenny Slate, the R-rated Venom is shaping up to be one of the fall’s most anticipated films, even if it’s not officially part of the MCU.

Venom debuts in theaters on Oct. 5.

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