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Venom director Ruben Fleischer on Marvel's most "horrific and violent" character

The much-anticipated Venom movie isn't out until October 5, but director Ruben Fleischer has already shared some symbiote secrets with our sister publication SFX magazine. In the new issue - on sale Wednesday, September 12 - Fleischer reveals why he wanted to stay true to the hardcore Jekyll and Hyde qualities that make Venom, in his words, "a unique character within the Marvel canon - he’s always been more horrific and violent than all the others."

Venom's host is reporter Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy), and for Fleischer, one of the key elements was how the alien parasite Venom would look once it took over Hardy's pretty face. "There were parts of the iconography we absolutely had to get right - the tongue, the teeth, the jaws, the eyes. He’s a character without pupils but they have to express emotion, so that’s a challenge. There’s a lot of inherent challenges to it," he explains. 

"As he’s an entirely CG character, it’s about achieving a photo-real Venom that looked like it could exist in our world. As far as his look, his bearing, his size, his scale, we really wanted to make sure that he was as true to the comics as he could possibly be."

Fleischer adds that he and the team feel they pushed it as far as they could. "We didn’t want it to feel like a softened version. I think when you watch the movie you’ll see that it’s a very aggressive version of a comic book character. It’s a really unique tone - there’s also some inherent comedy to the situation of having a giant alien inhabit you."   

"Other comic book movies and franchises are all established," he says. "You know what they are before you go in. This is something very new and original. There’s always a lot of challenge in creating something new.”

You can read more about Venom in SFX's exclusive feature, which you can find in issue 305, on sale on Wednesday.

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Rachel Weber

I'm the benevolent Queen of the US, or - as they insist I call it - US Managing Editor. I write news, features and reviews, and look after a crack team of writers who all insist on calling trousers "pants" and don't think the phrase fanny pack is problematic.