'Venom' Unveils Villain at Comic-Con

Tom Hardy and director Ruben Fleischer also said they'd love to see Tom Holland's Spider-Man face off against the antihero.
Tom Hardy in 'Venom'

For Tom Hardy, the impetus for playing Venom was to make a movie for his son.

"My son is a massive Venom fan, and he was a strong influence on why I should play Venom specifically. I wanted to do something my son could watch," he said, noting he's often aggressive and violent in his films. "So I did something where I bite people's heads off."

Venom stars Hardy as the titular antihero, alongside Woody Harrelson, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate and Scott Haze. Hardy also plays Eddie Brock, the human host taken over by Venom, an alien Symbiote who can merge himself with others.

The Hall H panel at Comic-Con showed off new footage, which director Ruben Fleischer stressed still had some VFX work to be done on it. The footage revealed that Venom will face off against another Symbiote in the movie. Fleischer later said this was Riot, a Symbiote who can transfer to other people, so you never know who it will be in the film. He also hinted that other villains could be in the movie: "We are planning a big world with this Venom story."

The footage also showed Venom's head stretching out of Brock's body to have a conversation with him, similar to what might happen in the comics, and Venom making axes with his own hands. In another scene, Venom has a bad guy in his grip and utters this line and appears to eat him (though that isn't shown): "Eyes, lungs, pancreas — so many snacks, so little time."

At one point, Venom is at his local market when he eats someone (or perhaps just really, really hurts them). He turns back into Brock, after which he tells his regular cashier: "I have a parasite."

Hardy cited Legend, in which he played two brothers, as inspiration for his work here, because the role forces him to play two parts: Venom and Eddie Brock.

"I thought I could do a similar technique, but this time I get to play with a huge, visual effects monster with an abundance of money to spend on it," Hardy said.

Venom is just one of several films Sony is using to build what it hopes will be a shared universe based on Spider-Man characters it holds the movie rights to. Jared Leto is starring in a Morbius, the Living Vampire movie, while filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood is working on Silver & Black, about Silver Sable and Black Cat.

So far, there are no plans to have Venom face off against Spider-Man, who is played by Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Sony and Marvel reached a landmark deal for that to happen.)

Fleischer noted he'd love to see Venom and Spider-Man in a movie together.

"I can speak for myself when I say I would be really excited to go see that film, so I have to see if the studio is thinking the same way, and if at some point down the road they are going to run across each other's paths."

Added Hardy: "What, go toe-to-toe with Tom Holland? Sure."

Sony is releasing Venom on Oct. 5.