Believe it or not, the release of the new VENOM film is just around the corner. It comes out October 5th, which is in just about three months. The hype has really started circulating following the film’s second trailer, which gave us our first look at the lethal protector himself. But, even with the film’s release not too far away, we still don’t know all that much about the film.

VENOM is being directed by Ruben Fleischer and stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, aka Venom. We also know the film will likely adapt parts of the “Lethal Protector” storyline, given the film involves Carlton Drake, the Life Foundation, and takes place in San Francisco. And, most importantly, we know we’re finally going to see Venom on screen. For real.

I don’t count that guy that showed up in SPIDER-MAN 3.

With all this in mind, there’s still a lot to speculate about. All we’ve really got to go on with this film are the two trailers, and even those don’t give us much. People have, of course, analyzed the ever-living hell out of both trailers, digging for whatever clues they can find about plot points or story beats. But, still, it’s all speculation.

However, given what we do know about the film, there’s enough information to already get a sense of how good or bad it might be. I’m going to lay out a handful of reasons why the VENOM film could either succeed as a great telling of this iconic anti-hero or completely flop and do a great deal of harm to the character’s reputation.

Reasons The VENOM Film Could Be Really Good

Let’s start with what could potentially make the VENOM film a strong take on the character.

1. An Original Take on The Character

One of the people’s biggest gripes, already, with the VENOM film is that there appears to be no real connection to Spider-Man. This is an understandable complaint, but, frankly, if you get over the need for this film to be a pitch-perfect adaptation of the character, you might actually find that this opens up the possibility of a really original depiction of the character.

Already, we know that the VENOM film will really work with Eddie Brock in his element as a reporter and journalist. He acts on a private, almost dangerous level of reporting. Separating the character from the Daily Bugle is actually a pretty fun concept because it lets him act on his own accord. With a few connections and tips, he’ll come into contact with the Venom symbiote after visiting the Life Foundation.

As for the symbiote itself, it seems to have a similar origin as in SPIDER-MAN 3, where it’ll wind up on Earth via a crash landing. Judging from the film’s second trailer, it looks like the symbiote will arrive in some kind of spacecraft.

With all of this in mind, the VENOM film has a lot of potential to deliver a unique telling of the character. Without wrapping itself up in the current Spider-Man film canon, there’s a lot of breathing room to tell a wholly original story. Should this tactic pay off, the VENOM film could feature a great story.

2. Venom Done Right

I’ve probably gone back and watched the second VENOM trailer at least a dozen times. And, really, the only reason I’ve done so is for the last few seconds of the trailer, where we finally get to see Venom himself.

Holy hell, does he look awesome or what?!

After the debacle that was Venom in SPIDER-MAN 3, people have been appropriately hesitant to see the lethal protector on the big screen again. Before we got our first glimpse of the anti-hero, I was very much the same. The first trailer for the VENOM film put me on edge and made me worry Venom wouldn’t be done justice for a second time now.

Thankfully, our fears were put to rest when we all saw what the anti-hero will look like for this film. He looks absolutely stunning! I was completely taken aback when I saw him that first time, and he uttered his first words. “We are Venom.” It gave me instant chills.

VENOM film
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

He looks exactly like he did back in the day when artists like Mark Bagley or Todd McFarlane would draw him. He’s got the big, muscular figure, the sharp, white eyes, the gruesomely jagged teeth, and the gloriously slimy tongue! (Never thought I’d praise a tongue for being gloriously slimy.)

At the very least, we know we’ll be able to enjoy Venom himself in the film because he looks incredible. It’s just about as good as you can get when it comes to adapting your favorite comic book characters.

3. Adapting a Fun Storyline

From what we’ve seen so far, it seems very likely the VENOM film will be adapting the VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR storyline from the comics. In this comic, Eddie Brock works in San Francisco, hoping to put his past with Spider-Man behind him and act as a hero. That is, of course, despite the fact that when people see him, they’re usually downright terrified of him.

While in San Francisco, Eddie tangles with a group of superpowered mercenaries. Their leader takes the Venom symbiote from Brock and spawns five new symbiotes. These are Scream, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Riot. Spider-Man eventually joins the fray and teams up with Venom to take down these new symbiotes and their leader.

VENOM film
From VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #5. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Though it’s a rather convoluted storyline, the “Lethal Protector” arc is absolutely a fun one to read. It features some solid storytelling from writer David Michelinie and fantastic artwork from Mark Bagley. This was the first time Venom was the protagonist of his own series, as well, and it served as a great starting point for the character’s rise from villain to anti-hero.

As the VENOM film seems to be dealing with Venom as an anti-hero, it makes sense to adapt parts of the “Lethal Protector” arc. The inclusion of the Life Foundation also makes a lot of sense, as it could be a great way to streamline in some symbiotic villains. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Carnage or any of the other symbiotes make an appearance in the VENOM film.

4. The Eddie Brock/Venom Relationship

One of the best parts about Venom has always been the guy wearing the symbiote. Eddie Brock is a very complicated, multi-layered character. He wants to do the right thing, but, on the surface, he’s a bit of dick. He gets himself into more trouble than he should and actively pushes away people trying to help. Not to mention, he actively feeds his addictions to power and hatred. Why do you think he’s so desperate to be with Venom in the first place?

In the second VENOM trailer, we get a look at where the relationship between Eddie and the symbiote could go. It seems like Eddie will acknowledge the dangerous nature of the alien parasite within him, but he doesn’t seem willing or able to get rid of it. Eddie tells the symbiote to “only hurt bad people,” but Venom says, “we can do whatever we want.” This has often been the dichotomy of Eddie Brock and Venom. Two sides of the same coin.

VENOM film
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Eddie seems to be treating the symbiote like a voice in his head. The film has pushed the idea of facing your inner demons or embracing your inner anti-hero. The back and forth between Eddie and Venom is what will likely define the VENOM film. The way I see it, if they nail that aspect, then the film could definitely stand out as a solid comic book film because it would have captured one of the most important aspects of the character.

Let’s hope they get it right.

5. Tom Hardy

People are pretty back and forth about the casting of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. I, for one, think it’s a great choice. Most of the other aspects of this film could stink, but at least you know you’re going to get a great performance from Hardy. From what we’ve seen thus far, it looks like Hardy is having a good time with this role.

He seems open to the ideas behind it. It’s a rather goofy concept, but he seems to be accepting the film for what it is. I love how he portrays those moments when he finds out he’s got the symbiote, and how he converses with it. I’m a big fan of his go-getter attitude as a reporter.

Venom film
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Why are people complaining about Hardy’s New York accent in the film, though? Sure, I usually imagine Eddie Brock as sounding a little gruff, but I usually imagine him with something of a New Yorker’s voice (even if he is originally from San Francisco). All things considered, his voice could be a lot worse. I’m happy with what Hardy’s going with, and I think people should cut him some more slack in that regard.

Tom Hardy is an award-winning actor, and for good reason. His understated performance in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD won him an award for Best Actor in an Action Movie. For those of you who watch TABOO, you know just how mesmerizing he is in that series. Point is, Tom Hardy is an actor who knows what he’s doing. If there’s one actor to truly bring Eddie Brock to life on the big screen, I’m happy to have it be Hardy.

Reasons the VENOM Film Could Be Really Bad

And now, let’s look at a few reasons why the VENOM film could potentially fail.

6. Tom Hardy

Yes, I know I just went to great lengths explaining why Hardy could help the VENOM film succeed. But, on the flip side, Tom Hardy can sometimes be his own worst enemy. Meaning, though he usually gives an outstanding performance, he does have his less-than-fulfilling moments. After all, the last time this guy was as a comic book villain, it didn’t go so well.

That being said, I’m still hopeful Hardy can deliver a solid performance as Eddie Brock. Still, there are things to be worried about. The complaints about his accent aren’t completely unfounded. An accent like that could potentially get overbearing. Also, there’s the possibility that Hardy plays the character too close to the chest when it comes time to actually dealing with the symbiote. That would completely contradict the character’s generally tough attitude.

Again, I’m confident Hardy can deliver a good performance, one that will undoubtedly help redeem this film, overall, but I’m hesitant to say he can completely save the VENOM film. There’s only so much weight you can put on one guy’s shoulders. Who knows, he could wind up completely tanking the role. We’ll just have to wait and see.

7. Sym-BYE-ote Lady

I don’t know who told actress Jenny Slate to read the line this way, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion the sym-bye-ote lady is really going to piss me off. I call her “sym-bye-ote lady” because all I can think about in regard to this character is her slaughtering the word symbiote. The character’s actual name is Dr. Dora Kirth, I believe.

VENOM film
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

When a character makes a bad first impression in the trailers, I find that, generally, that character does, in fact, wind up failing in the full film. My gut is telling me Jenny Slate’s character is really going to make this film drag out more than it should. From the trailer, she also seems kind of campy.

I’ve just got a bad feeling about this character. I’d love for Jenny Slate to prove me completely wrong and shut me the hell up, I really would. She’s not a bad actress. She could totally redeem this character. One can only hope, though. I’ll remain wholesomely skeptical of this character until further notice.

8. A Potentially Lame Villain

How many times have a brooding, corporate-type villain completely tanked an action flick? More than enough times, I’d say. And wouldn’t you know it, the VENOM film looks to be featuring exactly that kind of villain. Carlton Drake seems like the typical guy who’s willing to look past safe science for the “betterment of mankind.”

Let’s be honest, this guy is totally in it for the money.

I hope Riz Ahmed can bring something substantial to the character. He’s a pretty good actor with some notable roles under his belt; he won an award for his role in the series THE NIGHT OF and had a great performance in NIGHTCRAWLER.

Frankly, if the character of Carlton Drake fails, the blame will likely lay with the writing. On the surface, he just seems like such a washed up, overused villain archetype. This doesn’t seem like the kind of film that’s going to give the villain a terrible amount of focus. Again, I’d love to be proven wrong. Only time will tell just how much the VENOM film will surprise us.

9. Detachment From Spider-Man

As I mentioned earlier, people aren’t too happy about the VENOM film having little to no connection to Spider-Man. And, while that could present some unique plot elements and character development, it also takes away one of the most important parts of Venom’s history. Without Spider-Man, Venom wouldn’t even exist in the first place

I’m hopeful the VENOM film can find a voice of its own without Spider-Man, but I’m still pretty ticked my favorite superhero isn’t making a legitimate appearance. Though it’s been rumored that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will make a cameo appearance, this still leaves a lot to be desired. It will also likely confuse a lot of people, because the VENOM film doesn’t take place in the MCU, but Tom Holland is, of course, the Spider-Man of the MCU.

I can forgive this film for taking its own route and trying to be its own entity as separated from Spider-Man, but there has to be something to tie Venom to his true origin. Otherwise, this will likely upset a lot of fans.

10. Potentially Too Little Venom

As with most superhero films, the focus isn’t on the hero, it’s about the person behind the hero. The SPIDER-MAN films aren’t about Spider-Man, they’re about Peter Parker. The VENOM film will likely be much the same. It’s a movie about Eddie Brock. However, VENOM could be an interesting take on this idea, because Venom isn’t just Brock’s alter-ego. Venom is a being of his own. So, really, the VENOM film will be about two characters.

The potential problem with this, though, is we could see too little of Venom, and too much of Eddie Brock. I’m all for a “voices in your head” kind of story, with Eddie and the symbiote trying to hash out their differences and find common ground to do good. However, without the symbiote itself, I dare to ask why they’d even make this film in the first place.

You can’t have the VENOM film without Venom. He needs to have a palpable appearance, or the film will certainly receive a lot of backlash from fans. A rumor circulated back in March when the first trailer dropped saying that the symbiote itself would only show up for about five minutes of screen time. Initially, I was worried, but I doubt that will be the case in the full film. Still, such a rumor can’t be dismissed completely out of hand.

Again, this is just one of those things we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, Sony didn’t botch the VENOM film due to a disheartening lack of Venom.

Looking Forward to VENOM

Whether or not this film is a surprising success or impending failure, I’m still looking forward to the VENOM film. Venom has certainly earned his title as one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains. I’m excited to see him truly brought to life on the big screen.

Though is already sounds like there are things that could be fixed, such as Spider-Man’s inclusion, there’s also a lot to look forward to. I’m expecting great things from Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a comic-accurate depiction of Venom himself, and an interesting relationship between those two characters. Of course, there’s plenty to be skeptical about, but I’m still more hopeful for this film than worried.

VENOM hits theaters on October 5th, 2018! Funny, that’s the same weekend as New York Comic-Con. Guess that’s just one more thing to look forward to!

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