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Why Venom From Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Sounds So Familiar

There were a few solid-looking games announced at this year's PlayStation Showcase, but one of the biggest had to be "Spider-Man 2." Insomniac released a trailer, which gave gamers their first peek at the new title. Needless to say, fans are already ecstatic. The trailer's YouTube comment section has been flooded with enthusiastic praise and it's easy to see why. "Marvel's Spider-Man” was a critically acclaimed hit, combining the web-swinging and quipping of Peter Parker with the action forward and special-ability focused combat the studio perfected while making the "Infamous" series. "Spider-Man: Miles Morales" was another critical success, particularly as one of the first games to show gamers what the PS5 was truly capable of. Now Insomniac Games is ready to swing back into action with a new chapter in our web-slinging duo's story that features the villain we all suspected was sure to make an appearance in the series sooner or later: Venom.

The trailer opens with Peter and Miles fighting a bunch of people in the city streets as a narrator questions if any of them will present a challenge to him. Then we see the face of Venom appear from the darkness of the alley as he says, "yes... We will." It's three brief words, but you might find the voice incredibly familiar. According to PlayStation's blog, it turns out Venom will be played by none other than horror-legend Tony Todd. Here's where players might have seen Todd before.

He was the Candyman

Fans of classic horror might remember the 1992 film "Candyman." It follows a grad student who decides to write her thesis about local legends and discovers the myth of a man with a hook for a hand who appears if you say his name five times in front of a mirror — only, the Candyman is more than a legend.

There are two direct sequels, which both feature Tony Todd as the primary antagonist. He also makes an appearance in a new 2021 sequel of the same name. Some of the most iconic moments in the original film involved Todd being covered in bees during shooting. According to IMDB, "The bees were bred specifically for this movie. They needed to make sure that the bees were only twelve hours old, so that they looked like mature bees, but their stinger wouldn't be powerful enough to do any real damage." He still got stung plenty of times, but negotiated a clause in his contract that the studio had to pay him an additional $1,000 for every bee sting (for a total of $23,000!)

Todd had been in several other features before "Candyman," but the bee-covered horror icon quickly became the role he was most well known for, skyrocketing his career as a premier actor in the horror genre.

He was the mortician in Final Destination

Supernatural horror can be a hard sell for some people. The "Final Destination" series operates on the premise that Death (with a capital D) is an intelligent force of nature that has a design for everyone, and disrupting Death's design invites its fury. Each film begins with a group of people who were destined to die, surviving after one of them receives a premonition about what's about to happen. They are then hunted and picked off by Death itself. That may seem a little campy, but one of the reasons the series made it to five films is Tony Todd's performance as the mortician, William Bludworth.

Bludworth's role is to explain the rules for how Death operates, both to the characters and to the audience. This can be challenging, but Todd manages to sell the premise convincingly through the threatening gravitas of his presence. Though he generally plays a minor role in each film, he serves as a sort of anchor for the series since each installment tends to rotate in an almost entirely new cast. It's likely viewers will see him again if there's a "Final Destination 6."

He played Worf's younger brother on Star Trek

Todd has made several guest appearances on sci-fi TV shows throughout the years. He appeared in individual episodes of "The X-Files," "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Andromeda," and "Charmed." He also had a brief recurring role as Lord Haikon on "Stargate SG-1."

Even though only the most die-hard fans would be likely to know it, his biggest contribution to sci-fi television was likely a recurring role on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He played Kurn, son of Mogh and half-brother to Lieutenant Commander Worf of the Starship Enterprise. The character was featured in three episodes of "The Next Generation" and made a guest appearance in a single episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

His face is difficult to make out under the layers of Kingon makeup he needed to wear for the part, but Todd's voice is unmistakable. His role on the show was short, but it left a lasting impression on fans. His final conversation with his brother is a heartbreaking scene, and makes for one of the best Worf episodes in the show.

He's had rolls in other video games in the past

Being a good actor and being a good voice actor aren't always the same thing. Fortunately for Todd, his voice is one of the things he's most well known for. "Spider-Man 2" won't be the first game to feature his authoritative baritone. He started working in games by reprising his role as Kurn in the "Star Trek: Kilngon Honor Guard," but has since played dozens of characters. He played one of the Vortigants in "Half-Life 2: Episode Two" and "Half-Life: Alyx." He also played the director in "Layers of Fear 2," Admiral Tommy Briggs in "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," several characters in "Dota 2," narrated all of the cutscenes in "The Legend of Dragoon," and more. That means he has hours of experience working in the recording booth under his belt.

It's good to know that Todd has experience working in other games. There are plenty of examples of screen actors who try to transition to voice acting, only to find that it requires a very different skillset. Todd's bone-chilling timbre, coupled with the practice and training he's received preparing for other projects promises a performance "Spider-Man 2" players aren't likely to forget.