Ever since the announcement of Sony’s “Venom” movie, it’s not been entirely clear what the studio hopes to achieve with their plans.
Sony executive Amy Pascal can never seem to decide whether this movie is set in the MCU, is adjacent to it, or is its own completely separate thing.
We don’t know what the tone will be like – whether we’re get a quirky, lighthearted “Spider-Man: Homecoming” style movie, or whether it’ll skew darker, creating a full-blown R-rated horror film that literally wears the skin of a beloved comic book character.
We know that Tom Hardy is playing Eddie Brock, but we also know that whatever version of Brock will appear in the movie, he can’t possibly be the Peter Parker shadow character that he is in the comics.
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) May 19, 2017
In Marvel canon, Eddie Brock is a rival newspaper reporter whose life is ruined by both Spider-Man and Peter Parker in different ways. He’s a representation of what Peter could become, should he choose to give into his anger, aggression, and selfish impulses.
Over time, Brock gets his own redemptive story-arc, but as a core character, Venom is purely just an evil Spider-Man. This is hard to pull off in a movie if Sony Pictures can’t make proper use of Tom Holland in their film.
Maybe Holland will show up in a cameo or two, but to tell the comic book Eddie Brock story, the movie would need Spidey as a present threat, almost as the antagonist of the piece. That’s simply not possible with this movie.
We’ve now got some initial photos from the set of “Venom”, and they continue the grimy, gritty, black-and-white look of the initial teaser selfie that Hardy took for the announcement of the movie.
These new pictures aren’t official – they’ve been leaked by a fansite – but they do look like Hardy shot them himself, and he’s deliberately aiming for this grungy appearance.
What’s interesting is his clothing. Hardy seems to be dressed in military gear, potentially hinting that, instead of this version of Eddie Brock being true to the comics, he might be borrowing backstory elements from the comic book version of Flash Thompson, also know as Agent Venom.
This would make sense – after all, the “Agent Venom” comics have proven popular, and they provide a very different version of the character for Sony to hang a movie around.
Plus, with a Flash Thompson already existing in the MCU, and with “Homecoming” proving that Marvel and Sony aren’t above switching around the names of different characters from comic book history to fit their purposes (Ned Leeds is called Famke in the comics, while Ned is the name of a completely different character), it could be that Sony is working on a bait-and-switch.
We might be getting the most familiar name of a Venom symbiote host, combined with the most popular recent version of the character. This would be no bad thing.
No doubt Sony has some more wrinkles to introduce to the formula, and given the studio’s track record, they’ll no doubt find some way to ruin the whole endeavor.
Right in this moment, however, things are looking promising. If Sony manages to pull this off, they might make a half-way decent “Venom” movie despite clearly not having a clue what they’re doing.