'Venom' Showcases a World Without Spider-Man

Venom Movie Trailer

The first trailer for the Sony spin-off also lacks any discernible glimpse of…you know, Venom.

It’s been a busy week for highly anticipated trailers, with the teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story dropping on Monday and a spot for Deadpool 2 appearing yesterday. Today brings our first look at October’s Venom spin-off, an R-rated take on the character directed by Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy. Take a look:

Venom is an odd bird, a remnant of the Avi Arad days of the Spider-Man franchise, back before studio wizard Kevin Feige got his hands back on Marvel’s prize character. There was a bit of a hullabaloo back around the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming that implied the new film would be a near-unrelated offshoot of the current Spidey incarnation, but reporting since then has implied that it is an entirely separate entity. On top of creating a bizarre studio jumble of intersecting cinematic universes, that means it’s very unlikely that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man appears in the film. The gloomy, thuggish tone of the film’s new trailer certainly doesn’t gel with the fizzy high school charm of Marvel’s new Spidey films.

So we’re left with a Venom origin story that lacks an integral character, and instead seems to return to the Amazing Spider-Man days of sinister corporations doing evil science experiments. That would fit, given that production on Venom started in the middle of Sony’s desperate 2014 push to build a universe on the back of one character. Maybe soon we’ll be seeing that Black Cat movie or the spy drama starring Aunt May. Sony is determined to funnel the goodwill Marvel has injected into their most viable brand into a franchise of their own, and it certainly seems like they’re putting all of their eggs in the Venom basket.

It’s too bad he’s not really in the trailer. Seriously…where’s Venom? If you’re going to sell a Venom movie, you’re going to have to do better than some poorly-lit hallways and another iteration of Tom Hardy’s “I’m wacky and I don’t care who knows it!” actor voice. Assuming Venom as a character has a fanbase (which I’ve been informed he does), they’re not going to be excited by a look at Riz Ahmed in a suit and Michelle Williams in a bad wig. We got a better look at the character in the Spider-Man 3 trailer, for crying out loud, and Sam Raimi didn’t even want him in that movie. Is Venom missing? Is that why he isn’t in the trailer? Where’s Venom? Is he okay? Find Venom! (#FindVenom, get it trending.)

Oh well, at least we can always go back and watch the original and greatest Venom trailer, this bizarre promotional video released by Sony and seemingly edited by Tim and Eric. It’s honestly far more entertaining than the above trailer, and it will waste even less of your day.

Venom will be released on October 5th, assuming Sony can find him in time.

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Writer and student based in New York. Ask me about my Blu-Ray copy of The Book of Henry.