Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, Eddie Brock narrates that we all have our own demons, obviously hinting towards his own symbiotic dark side. The teaser is a moody affair, with Brock being pursued by unseen forces and awakening in what looks like a laboratory or medical facility. But while we see the beginnings of the symbiote's signature black tendrils creeping up the side of Brock's neck, albeit briefly, we don’t get to see the full version of Venom in the trailer.
Fans are, of course, not happy about this. However, you have to ask why it would be in Sony's interest give the audience this big reveal so soon.
There are a couple of possible reasons why the full-fledged Venom isn’t included in this first trailer, the most obvious being that maybe the visual effects simply aren't ready. Tom Hardy took to Instagram at the end of January to celebrate wrapping the film, but although he might be done, it doesn’t mean the entire production has wrapped. The post-production team will be spending months finalizing the full film. Yes, Tom Hardy has done the motion capture for the symbiote, but there's no guarantee that footage will be ready for some time. And given that Venom is a monstrous character, fans should prefer the time was spent ensuring he’s properly rendered than Sony rush to reveal his new look.
Another possibility is that Venom’s signature look may reveal specific spoilers about the film. Although we know Marvel Comics' “Planet of the Symbiotes” and “Lethal Protector” storylines are providing inspiration, Sony will still want to keep plot details under wraps. Presumably, most fans already have a rough idea of what to expect from the symbiote: a black suit, huge white spider-emblem, white eyes, terrifying teeth and a disgustingly long tongue. But if Sony is pushing Venom into new, Spider-Man free territory, it’s possible his look will also be considerably different than what fans are expecting. If this is the case, then when we eventually do get that reveal, it’ll be more impactful than if we saw him in the initial trailer.
We live in an age of constantly being spoon-fed new trailers, images and news about the latest upcoming movies. Audiences have learned to look at teaser trailers as a full trailer, almost always with some sort of major reveal at the end. Sony, by breaking with that, has insanely ramped up the anticipation for Venom. Remember, the film doesn’t arrive in theaters until October. There’s still plenty of time for the studio to give us a longer trailer (or trailers) featuring not only the iconic anti-hero/villain, but the other symbioses rumored to be part of the film as well.
In a time where superhero movies are one of the most popular genres in cinema, we’re used to having the costume and alter-ego as part of the trailer since it’s the draw of the film. By withholding that from us, Sony has all but guaranteed the eventual reveal will be that much more rewarding.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a script by Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg, Venom stars Tom Hardy, Jenny Slate, Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed. The film arrives Oct. 5, 2018.