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Small Details In The Venom Trailer You Might've Missed

At long last, the first full trailer for Venom has arrived. The film, which focuses on Tom Hardy as journalist Eddie Brock, is the second big-screen appearance of every comic fan's favorite alien symbiote. After a brief teaser that conveyed more about the tone of the film than its actual content, fans finally have their first real look at what Venom will be about, and, more importantly, what Venom's iconic costume is going to look like this time around. 

The Venom trailer shows us glimpses of Hardy's Brock, the villainous Life Foundation, and even the identity Jenny Slate's character (apparently a rogue Life Foundation employee). Amid the explosions, alien symbiote attacks, and sinister narration, there are a number of key plot points and details the trailer teases that might go unnoticed to the untrained eye. But that's why we're here, though. Here are the small details you may have missed in the Venom trailer. 

A lethal protector

There aren't a ton of great comics that depict Venom as a hero of any kind. The most notable recent ones don't even feature Eddie Brock in the suit. Rather, they see Peter Parker's old classmate Flash Thompson taking on the mantle. As such, there are only so many Venom comics from which the film could draw inspiration. The word leading up to the film was that it would look to two stories, specifically Lethal Protector and Planet of the Symbiotes, for inspiration. By the looks of the Venom trailer, they were clearly correct, albeit with more reliance on the former.

Much of what we see in the trailer seems to be a loose adaptation  of Venom: Lethal Protector. The '90s miniseries sees Venom and Eddie relocating to San Francisco as fugitives from Spider-Man and the authorities. They do so under an agreement that, as long as they don't hurt anyone and stay out of Spidey's business, Spider-Man will stay out of theirs. The book features them taking on Carlton Drake and the LIFE Foundation, both of which appear in the trailer. That said, it also features an underground city of refugees and a team of mech-suit mercenaries hired by the father of one of Venom's old victims, both of which are pretty conspicuously absent from the trailer. That's probably for the best, as those facets the comic are very much of their time and likely wouldn't translate well today.

Voice of the people

Fans of the character may find themselves pleasantly surprised by the direction in which Venom takes Eddie Brock when it comes to his career choice. Prior incarnations of the character, including the one in Spider-Man 3, have depicted Brock as a photographer (and a pretty skeevy one at that). From the looks of it, Venom will see Brock on a new path, one with ties to some of the character's best comic appearances.

The Eddie Brock we'll be seeing in the film looks to be an investigative journalist, a career the character had in the original Spider-Man comics where he first appeared. The Venom: Lethal Protector comic series further establishes Brock as having been inspired by journalistic coverage of the Watergate scandal, which gave Brock an underlying anti-authoritarian streak that could translate to film very well. It's a smart decision for a version of Venom that looks to be more anti-hero than supervillain. 

As an investigative journalist, Brock will likely have a strong sense of right and wrong. And we get a look at his willingness to make bad people uncomfortable in the name of the truth in the Venom trailer. It's a great character decision and bodes well for Brock as a likable protagonist.

One in a million

Any Venom fan worth their salt knows that he isn't the only symbiote on the block in the Marvel Universe. There's practically a whole network of weird slimy creatures that grant their hosts superpowers at the expense of their agency. Some are villains, but others — against all odds, are heroes. However, they weren't all present from the jump. For years Venom is the only symbiote in the Marvel Universe. It's not until much later that more begin to emerge.

But in Venom, we're going to get multiple symbiotes right off the bat– just like what we see in the Venom: Lethal Protector comics on which the movie's based. We glimpse then in the Venom trailer and even see what appears to be symbiote hosts with powers. It makes for a potentially cool dynamic. Moreover, we see early on in the trailer that Venom is a physical force to be reckoned with. It makes sense that he'll have a legitimate threat to go up against at some point in the film. 

A dapper villain

The Venom trailer gives us our first real look at the film's villain: Carlton Drake, played by Riz Ahmed. Drake is another carryover from Lethal Protector, albeit one with which the filmmakers seem to have taken a few liberties. In the comics Drake is an old man running the Life Foundation. He's a shady dude, but he's not responsible for Venom and Eddie's bonding, nor for the discovery of the original symbiote — although he does discover the existence of others.

It looks like Ahmed's take on the character will be significantly different. His Drake looks to be far more "Evil Tony Stark" than "cranky old mogul." Ahmed is young and attractive, and, by the looks of it, he'll be a prominent media figure in the world of the film. He's also far more directly tied to the symbiotes' presence on Earth, with his Life Foundation seeming to be responsible for either discovering the symbiotes or bringing them to Earth to begin with. It makes for a villain far more directly tied to the protagonist, and that's likely going to be a good thing.

Love is in the air

We get our first look at the dynamic between Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock and Michelle Williams' Anne Weying in the Venom trailer as well. In the comics, Weying is Brock's ex-wife. Their relationship is a bit complicated, as is that of any former couple. She also eventually gets a symbiote of her own and becomes the villainous She-Venom (and with multiple symbiotes at play in the film, we won't rule out an appearance from that particular alter-ego).

It looks like we'll be getting the precursor to that in the film. Weying and Brock appear to be very much together in the restaurant scene depicted in the trailer. Weying's backstory as a high-profile lawyer is alluded to, and she and Brock seem to be very close already, leading us to believe we won't even be getting a will-they-won't-they love story. It's a nice change of pace from your run of the mill superhero movie. Who's got time to chase your crush when you're possessed by an alien slime suit? 

A (Golden Gate) bridge too far

The thing about living in New York as a supervillain — or an antihero trying to make good with the symbiote that's possessing you — is that sooner or later you're going to run into one of those pesky superheroes. Plus there are few comic book characters as inseparable from New York as Spider-Man, Venom's archnemesis. With the rights to Spidey and his supporting cast in a weird sort of tied-up state between Marvel Entertainment and Sony (Venom is happening in cooperation between the two studios) it'd be tough to set the film in New York, not have Spidey (or some Avengers) show up, and not ruin the audience's suspension of disbelief. The solution? Set it somewhere far, far away.

The establishing shots are pretty brief, but the Venom trailer confirms that the film will be taking place in San Francisco. Not only is that about as far away from New York City as you can get, but it's also got ties to the comics, specifically (you guessed it) Lethal Protector. While the film probably doesn't delve into the city's comics-canon history of having an underground society of mole people (and again, that's probably for the best), we've had nonstop superhero films taking place in New York City for the last several years. It'll be fun to break away and to not have to worry about whether or not a legal kerfuffle will prevent Peter Parker from emerging from a bodega around the corner.

A complicated relationship

The relationship between a host and a symbiote in Marvel comics isn't necessarily defined by a strict set of rules, but we definitely have a vague idea of how it should work. Hosts are generally aware of what's going on when they bond with a symbiote. This isn't to say they're fully aware of the implications of doing so, but there's at least a decision knowingly being made on their part to bond with it (or in Spidey's case, to wear it as a suit). But from the looks of it, Eddie Brock doesn't have much of a choice in the film.

While we don't see the actual bonding of Eddie and the symbiote in the Venom trailer, we do see what appears to be the aftermath. There's something particularly notable about Eddie's response to the sybmiote bonding to him: he seems to have no idea it's happened at all. This is pretty new as far as depictions of Venom go. Eddie clearly recognizes that something is wrong, but he thinks he's sick or something. When his Venom powers are finally unleashed on the men who come to his apartment looking for their boss's "property," he seems just as shocked as they are. 

It's a pretty cool storytelling choice, one that opens up possible explorations of body horror and Eddie's loss of autonomy as the host, cemented by the symbiote's chilling line, "We can do whatever we want."

One giant leap for mankind

The original Venom symbiote's origin story in comics is a little bit complicated, and that's putting it mildly. Spider-Man finds the Venom symbiote while he's in another dimension, fighting in the omnipotent Beyonder's Secret Wars with the rest of the Marvel Universe. It's a story that's remarkably hard to summarize concisely — and impossible to adapt to film. Crafting Venom's origin as depicted in those comics is nearly impossible for both budgetary and legal reasons. Luckily, the filmmakers behind Venom have found a way to just skip around it.

The Venom trailer reveals that, rather than Eddie discovering Venom, the Life Foundation does. It also eschews Venom's origin as a being masquerading as a superhero suit. The Venom alien that the foundation discovers is in its pure symbiote form. There appears to be no intended trickery on its part. The audience, and the film's characters, will see it in its true, goopy form from the start.

Split personality

The relationship between a symbiote and its host allows for a multitude of interpretations in terms of how it functions. Venom can sometimes be a passive influence, not informing its host of what it really is and quietly using its relationship with their biology to heighten their aggression over a period of time. It can also be outwardly antagonistic, acting with a life of its own. Frequently hosts of symbiotes will refer to themselves as "we," implying the full melding of their identity to the symbiote. In the Venom trailer, we get our first glimpse of what direction the filmmakers will be taking Eddie and the alien's relationship.

Venom will not only have a mind of his own in the film, but also a voice. We hear him speaking to Eddie in the trailer. Combine this with his clear ability to exert control over Eddie's body as depicted in the apartment confrontation, and you've got an interesting incarnation of the character. It's very easy to make Eddie Brock and Venom synonymous, to meld their identities. What the film appears to be doing is far more interesting: creating two distinct and separate characters that happen to occupy the same body. We're all in for the inevitable struggle for control and dominance between the two.

On the road again

It probably goes without saying, but being the bodily host of a sinister alien symbiote that gives you the power to wreck buildings probably makes you something of a target. As such, maybe we should have known in advance that walking around with the Venom symbiote isn't going to be a walk in the park for Eddie Brock. The Venom trailer more or less confirms this suspicion.

We've got angry dudes who bust into Eddie's apartment informing him that Carlton Drake wants his property back. We've also got footage of people chasing Eddie as he zips away on his motorcycle. It's pretty safe to assume that the Life Foundation isn't too happy that Venom and Eddie made off like a couple of lovebirds eloping to Mexico. Eddie's primary problem throughout the film — aside from managing the terrifying alien that lives in his body — is clearly going to be staying ahead of his pursuers. It looks like he'll be spending lots of the film on the run, both from the authorities and from Drake's goons. It could make for some really special storytelling, incorporating elements of horror and crime cinema into this superhero flick. Plus when they inevitably do catch up to Eddie, we're certain Venom isn't going to go quietly. That's going to be all kinds of fun to watch.