After several months of anticipation, Sony’s first Venomhttps://www.cbr.com/tag/venom-movie/ trailer was finally released last week. The footage revealed showed a lot of Tom Hardy dashing through forest and city streets, fleeing from unknown forces, but it included barely a glimpse of the titular alien symbiote. There are a few possible reasons for this, creative ones among them, but the most likely is that work on the film’s special effects are not ready to share with the public.
Of course, it may also be an indication of director Ruben Fleischer’s intentions for this adaptation of the character. That is to say, the film, much like the trailer, may be intentionally conservative in its use of Venom. It would be a considerable risk for a superhero-based film to avoid featuring its titular character in a big way, but it’s one that could pay off, especially when we take the nature of the character into consideration.
Eddie Brock’s popularity arguably reached its peak during the 1990’s with “Maximum Carnage” and his “Lethal Protector series.” While both of those storylines heavily featured epic, symbiote action, their primary focus was on the character within the symbiote suit and his internal struggle with the monster.
Eddie Brock was more or less introduced as Venom, and his backstory explained in Amazing Spider-Man #300 (written by David Michelinie, artwork by Todd MacFarlane, Bob McLeod and Bob Sharen). The issue revealed that (at first, at least) he wasn’t actually a bad guy; in fact, he wanted to do good as a journalist, but one mistake uncovered by Spider-Man’s intervention ruined him completely. Unable to rebuild his career in the world of news and serious journalism, Eddie sought a permanent end. Having been raised Catholic, he went from church to church to ask for forgiveness, which is how he happened to be at the church where the symbiote had been rejected and where his life took a darker turn.
Although Eddie bonded with the symbiote, they were never seen as a single entity. Venom — as Eddie Brock — has always been written as two minds in a single being, which is why they end up conflicting with each other quite a lot. The symbiote is almost wholly driven by hunger while Eddie generally is driven by a desire to protect the innocent. That internal conflict is best shown in Venom: The Hunger in which Eddie struggles with satisfying the violent urges and needs of the symbiote.
Eddie’s origin as well, as well as the stories that place focus on his struggle with the symbiote, are among the most interesting and emotionally impacting, especially when compared to the stories that treat Venom like a simple monster. During Gargan’s run as the symbiote host, Venom was depicted as a bloodthirsty monster, willingly devouring enemies and tearing people apart. It was fun and exciting in its own way, but nowhere near as interested as the discordant Eddie Brock.
In the context of film, a brutal Venom that lunges into every scene would be undoubtedly thrilling, but it would also keep the film from achieving anything significant with the character. We have a lot of superhero and monster films that heavily feature loud, heart-pounding action sequences, but they often fail to provoke thought or remain memorable.
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