The release date for ‘Venom’ is more than two months away, yet planned sequels were hinted at no less than three times during Sony Pictures’ San Diego Comic-Con presentation Friday night. “We’re definitely planning a huge world with this Venom story, and we want to be able to satisfy our own desires and the desires of our fans to explore all of the beloved characters from the universe,” said director Ruben Fleischer, who was joined by stars Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed.
About a minute later, while praising his onscreen love interest, Michelle Williams, “The Revenant” Oscar nominee let slip, “She’s an awesome actress, so working with her is a delight, and I’m looking forward to doing more. Oh, I can’t tell you — I was going to say something but it’s a spoiler.” The moment made Ahmed’s eyes go wide.
At the very end of the panel, Fleischer got more explicit about what fans might expect from future installments. “I think we can all agree it would be pretty amazing to see Spider-Man and Venom face off in a film,” he said, garnering cheers from the crowd of thousands in Hall H. “I’d be really excited to go see that film. So, I have to think that the studio’s thinking the same way, and that at some point down the road, they’re going to run across each other’s paths…Yeah, I have to think we’d all love to see that.”
Then the moderator reminded the trio that at Seattle’s ACE Comic-Con in Seattle last month, current Spider-Man Tom Holland revealed that the Marvel foe he would most like to web-sling against is Venom. “Go toe-to-toe with Tom Holland?” asked Hardy of his fellow Brit. “I’ll have a go, yeah…He’s an awesome actor and I’d love to work with him, and I love Spider-Man, so who knows.”
Footage (allegedly unfinished) from the film showed New York City documentary journalist and future symbiote Eddie Brock (Hardy) lying on the floor and attempting to meditate, per a suggestion from the woman who works at his local convenience store. But his mind jumps to flashes of himself being chasing, tossed in a body of water, and doubled over in pain. After becoming infected by an alien parasite, Brock-as-Venom was seen riding a motorcycle while keeping two drivers at bay with his tar-like appendages, and pulling back half his fanged face to surprise a stranger with the human within. “That power, it’s not completely awful,” he deadpans.
“Unlike other Marvel films, this is a much grittier, grounded, complicated character, more violent,” said Fleischer, once a PA on Williams’ series “Dawson’s Creek.” “And unlike most superhero movies, there’s no heroes, really, in this movie.”
Hardy embraced the dark subject matter, and the opportunity to lighten the mood. “I don’t want to upset anyone, but I think he’s the coolest Marvel superhero that there is,” he said. “I really wanted to do something that my son could watch, because a lot of the films that I’ve done are normally pretty aggressive or violent, or I swear a lot…So I did something where I bite people’s heads off instead.”
“Venom” hits theaters October 5.