Sony Pictures' Venom film has wrapped filming and will soon head into post-production. From there, it's only a matter of time before we get a trailer and then, on October 5, the final product. Despite it existing wholly separate from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or does it?), Venom still has a lot riding on its success, including a Black Cat and Silver Sable movie. In short, Sony needs Venom to be a hit.
To that end, we'd like to say: "We have some ideas." In fact, we've got a list.
Now, we've already discussed how to make Venom work as a standalone film that doesn't tie into the larger MCU, so think of that article as aimed at the business and production side of things, and this article more as a number of ways Sony can make fans giddy with delight. So that being said, here are six things we want to see in the Venom movie when it arrives later this year.
Venom has gone through a number of visual changes since he was first introduced in Spider-Man #300, but one of his most common traits is a long, prehensile tongue, often covered in a thick, mucousy drool. This impossible appendage helps sell the idea that Venom is a monster - a being that may walk like man, but would sooner feast on your brains than shake your hand.
The classic look
While we're on the subject, let's just get away from any 'creative reimaginings' of how Venom should look (a la Spider-Man 3). Venom may not always look the same in the comics, but when fans hear the name, there is a particular look they imagine: beefy muscles, with an elongated jaw full of razor-sharp teeth, and a white spider symbol spread across his chest and back. Here's hoping Sony sticks close to that version to make Venom a truly larger-than-life and imposing figure.
Venom isn't above using a one-liner here and there. While not as quippy as his arch-enemy Spider-Man, the sometimes-villain, sometimes-anti-hero has shown a propensity toward aggressive banter, especially if he feels he has the upper hand. He's a bit of a cocky buttwipe that way. The Venom movie doesn't need to go full slapstick or anything, but it would be nice to see some dark humor - perhaps an homage to this scene from the Venom: Lethal Protector series, which the movie is partly based on?
I know, I just said humor, and now I'm saying the virtual opposite. But hey, some of our most fondly-remembered films of all time expertly bounce between terror and laughter. In fact, Zombieland - directed by Ruben Fleischer, the same man directing Venom - did a fabulous job of this. It's okay to make audiences laugh, but never let them forget that this is a character who isn't afraid to kill, and do so in gruesome ways. The Venom symbiote has snapped spines, suffocated victims by snaking tendrils down their throat and nose, even straight-up ate people. It's not nice, and the film shouldn't shy away from that.
Actor Tom Hardy, who plays Eddie Brock (the human host of the Venom symbiote), has said that he likes to find a "vocal silhouette" of the character he's playing. He surely has his work cut out for him in the Venom film, as he has to be both plain-old human Eddie Brock as well as the creature he becomes. Many different voice actors have given the character life over the years, with many different pitches, inflections, and sound effects used. Personally, I'm a big fan of Daran Norris' work on the 2000 Spider-Man game for PlayStation, PC, and Dreamcast; it's deep, coarse, and confident. But whatever the method, Venom should sound monstrous.
Wait, wait! Don't rush to the comments crying "too soon" just yet! Let me explain: in the comics, Carnage is the 'child' of the Venom symbiote, and it bonds to a true sociopath - the serial killer Cletus Kasady. This results in a monster even more vicious than Venom: a shapeshifting murderer who delights in others' suffering. The Venom movie is said to partly be based on the Lethal Protector and Planet of the Symbiotes storylines, which introduce plenty of other symbiotes for our anti-hero to fight, so why toss in Carnage? Well, you don't. At least not in a significant way. Make the barest of teases by merely mentioning Kasady's existence so the audience knows he's around. Hell, go ahead and make this the post-credits scene by simply showing Kasady in his jail cell on death row. All you've got to do is an Avengers-style glimpse of the villain sporting a wicked grin and bam, you've got a chorus of "Ohhhhhhh shit!" excitedly echoing through the theater.