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After biting the head off the box office, Venom is heading home.
With an eye-popping box office gross of $852.7 million, Sony’s Venom defied expectations at every turn despite a myriad of poor reviews. Venom also erased any doubt as to whether a standalone movie without Spider-Man could even yield a successful film, let alone be enough to launch a new Marvel-adjacent universe for Sony.
With its digital release available this week, Venom is poised to continue its charmed run on home entertainment when it hits Blu-ray on Dec. 18. The Hollywood Reporter received an advanced copy of the Blu-ray and below is a breakdown of the most interesting special features of the Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams comic book adaptation.
The Blu-ray contains three deleted/extended scenes including “Ride to Hospital,” “Car Alarm” and “San Quentin Extended.”
In “Ride to Hospital,” Eddie takes a Lyft to the hospital and bickers with Venom during the ride. It’s a comedic scene since the driver’s reactions play off of Eddie/Venom’s spat. Based on wardrobe, it appears that this was the original setup for Eddie’s second hospital visit that resulted in Venom being separated from Eddie for a bit. In the theatrical cut, Eddie acquired the gray long sleeve shirt he’s wearing in this deleted scene during his evening ride to his second hospital visit with Anne. Thus, the latter scene was likely shot during additional photography in order to deepen the Eddie and Anne relationship.
In “Car Alarm,” Venom emerges in daylight to lay waste to a BMW as a child looks on in delight. Based on wardrobe, this appears to be around the time that Eddie was returning home from his first hospital visit via a cable car. This suggests that a fully formed Venom was set to appear slightly earlier in the film, however, his introduction after the apartment fight and motorcycle chase was a far more satisfying introduction to the symbiote’s full form.
In “San Quentin Extended,” Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) toys with Eddie a bit longer, urging him to come closer to his cage if he wants to know the location of the “other victims.” When Eddie puts his foot down, Cletus taunts him and calls him a “chicken.” The establishing shot of the prison also features a new voiceover between Eddie and Venom as Eddie tells Venom that he has to remain quiet during his visit. Perhaps, this extended scene was originally in the movie since it’s far too long to work as a post-credit scene. So, it makes absolute sense why it was cut down for the credits.
Unfortunately, the Blu-ray does not feature an in-character audio commentary between Eddie and Venom, however, “Venom Mode” allows you to watch the film with a trivia track. It’s basically Venom’s version of Pop-Up Video as interesting facts appear throughout the movie. Even though there’s no audio commentary, “Venom Mode” provides you with the type of information that an audio commentary would normally share.
Making of / Behind the Scenes Extras
The Blu-ray also provides about a half-dozen segments that essentially function as a “making of” documentary. The filmmakers and actors are interviewed throughout each segment, as is comic book aficionado/filmmaker Kevin Smith.
In “From Symbiote to the Screen,” the segment goes in-depth on Venom’s comic book origin and the changes the filmmakers needed to make for his big screen adaptation in a universe where Spider-Man exists but isn’t present. Smith is particularly valuable to this segment. They also discuss Anne Weying’s role and her beloved debut as She-Venom, one of the many reasons why Williams took the role but couldn’t disclose prior to release.
In “The Anti-Hero,” the discussion revolves around Venom and Eddie’s moral compass and how they differ from traditional superheroes. There’s also an interesting breakdown as to how Venom’s voice was handled on set so Hardy could hear Venom during his performance as Eddie. You even get to hear early versions of Tom Hardy’s Venom voice which is worth the price of admission.
“The Lethal Protector in Action” also provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the action sequences were achieved, thanks to a blend of practical and visual effects. Additionally, the Blu-ray offers a fascinating selection of “Pre-Vis” action scenes as you can watch computer-generated renderings of the motorcycle chase or lobby fight alongside their final versions. One of the “Pre-Vis” action sequences even shows the stunt team carrying out the apartment fight.
Additional segments focus on the design of Venom, director Ruben Fleischer and Easter eggs (see some of those clips below).
Venom is out on digital now and hits 4K, Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 18.
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