When is Venom released in UK cinemas?
Venom will be out in UK cinemas from Friday October 5, just in time to creep you out a few weeks before Halloween.
What’s the story?
Journalist Eddie Brock begins looking into a shady businessman, whose experiments into alien symbiotes (i.e. creatures that have to bond with another being to survive) are putting innocent people in danger.
However, in the course of his investigations Brock becomes infected with one of the symbiotes, quickly realising it possesses sentience and striking a deal with the creature now sharing his body – only use your violent impulses to hurt bad people.
But can Brock and the symbiote (who joined together become the toothy, black-suited Venom) stop the forces ranged against them? And can Eddie keep control of his new other half even if they do?
Who’s in the cast?
As noted above Tom Hardy stars as Eddie Brock, and he also voices the symbiote, effectively playing two different interlinked roles in the same movie.
Michelle Williams also stars as lawyer Anne Weying, Eddie’s girlfriend, who becomes a different version of Venom herself in the source comics.
Rounding off the main cast Riz Ahmed plays villain Carlton Drake, with Jenny Slate, Woody Harrelson, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Sope Aluko and Scott Deckert cast in undisclosed roles.
Who is Venom in the comics?
Interestingly, the comic-book Venom is much more of a villain. Introduced in 1984, the comic version of Eddie Brock had a personal vendetta against Spider-Man, and was one of the webhead’s most tenacious and terrifying foes for decades.
However, he also had a strict moral code that prevented him from harming “innocents” (though his sense of innocence was somewhat warped), inspiring him into some heroic periods that are the main inspiration for the new film.
There are still some similarities between the two Venoms, however. Like Hardy’s version, the comic-book Brock was an investigative journalist, though the print version blamed Spider-Man for a career downturn.
How does this tie into the Marvel Spider-Man films?
The short answer is that it doesn’t, while the longer answer is…more complicated.
While Marvel Studios own the rights to most of their heroes (including Iron Man, Captain America and the Guardians of the Galaxy), it’s actually rival studio Sony who hold the rights to Spider-Man, after Marvel sold them off during financial problems a few decades ago.
This led Sony to try and create their own Spider-Man-based movie universe starting with The Amazing Spider-Man franchise (which starred Andrew Garfield), but when these plans failed they decided to essentially “lend” the character back to Marvel in return for a share of the profits. So Tom Holland’s Spider-Man exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but technically still belongs to Sony.
However, Sony does still have sole rights to all Spider-Man’s villains and allies, including Venom, and so while their big hitter is working for another studio they’re trying to make the most of what they have by repainting the character as a bit of an antihero (which, to be fair, he sometimes has been in the comics) in a completely separate, non-Marvel continuity.
They’re doing the same with other Spider-Man characters too, like old foe Morbius the Living Vampire, who will be played by Jared Leto in another upcoming Sony movie.
Apparently the long-term plan is to meld these side-characters into their own cinematic universe of sorts that could one day pull Spider-Man back in too, though it’s unclear how likely that is at the current moment.
Haven’t I already seen Venom in a movie?
Yes, you probably have. The character was played by Topher Grace in the final film of Sony’s original webslinging trilogy, Spider-Man 3, back in 2007.
However, the depiction of both Eddie Brock and Venom was roundly criticised by fans at the time, with the response to Hardy’s version of the character already far more positive.
Will there be a post-credits scene?
Sony has used this device (best known for appearing in Marvel’s superhero movies) before in The Amazing Spider-Man films, so it seems likely that Venom will have a little treat after the credits for fans as well.
Still, at this early stage we can’t guarantee it.