The more I hear about Ruben Fleischer’s Venom, the more excited I get. When I was a kid in the 90s, I loved the character – who back then felt like a way cooler and grosser version of Spider-Man. My fandom has cooled off a lot since then (re-reading some of those 90s comics is painful), but I still think the anti-hero has a ton of potential. So, when I heard that Tom Hardy was going to play Eddie Brock/Venom in a film, I was over the moon.
Hardy is absolutely one of the best actors working today, displaying a scary level of commitment to each part he takes. Whether he’s a hero in Dunkirk or a villain in Bronson or The Dark Knight Rises, it’s difficult to take your eyes off him when he’s on screen. I can all but guarantee he’s going to blow us away in the first Venom trailer, but as that’s presumably some months away yet, I’ll settle for the excitement of producer Matthew Tolmach, who recently told MTV the following about his performance:
Eddie Brock is an incredible character and a gritty, real, authentic, funny but also embittered character and a truth-teller who has made mistakes. You know, Tom… it’s like a master class watching him act every day and he’s such a risk taker and he loved this character. From the day that we first met with him, my partner Avi Arad and I… we found someone who just believed in this character entirely and yet every day pushes it to a place that us mere mortals would never expect it go.
Continuing on, he said:
He just has crazy integrity about it and so he challenges everything we’re doing in the most brilliant way. For him, it’s like, ‘if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it and give it it’s due.’ Because the love that the fans have for that character is profound and he shares it. So, it’s really exciting.
Sure, you could say that of course the film’s producer is going to be talking up how great the pic is, but I’m pretty confident that Venom is actually going to be great. For one thing, I’m increasingly hopeful that it won’t be connected to the MCU or to any ‘Venomverse.’ After all, it seems like every superhero film is crowbarred into a shared universe these days, which inevitably means a dilution of tone and lack of really crazy weirdness.
Not only that, but a standalone Venom would truly give Hardy and Fleischer the room to really go to town here, hopefully targeting the R-rating that fans are craving and the character deserves. Whether they’ll be able to do that or not remains to be seen, as we already know that Sony is building some sort of mini-Marvel universe with the characters they hold the rights to.
Still, we’re hopeful that the studio will be smart enough to give the filmmakers the freedom they need to build a compelling take on the iconic anti-hero. After all, given how poorly Venom was handled in Spider-Man 3, Sony can’t afford to mess up again.