The biggest question heading into the first Venom trailer, released Thursday, wasn’t what the evil alien symbiote suit might look like, how a Sony Pictures Venom movie could fit into the Marvel-Spidey universe, or how happy Michelle Williams looked. It was how Tom Hardy would sound as our Venom-to-be, Eddie Brock.
Hardy is a talented, versatile actor who might be a real-life superhero, but he also might be impossible to understand. His mumbling but physically intimidating Bane in The Dark Knight Rises spawned a thousand memes; it certainly didn’t help that he was wearing a sleep apnea machine on his face the whole time. His face was obscured for a good chunk of Mad Max: Fury Road, and most of Dunkirk—which, again, made him hard to understand. Taboo was as confusing to hear as it was to see. Clicking on the link to the first Venom trailer, all I wanted was to see Tom Hardy’s beautiful face without a mask and to hear him sound less like a man choking on a spoonful of peanut butter.
In that regard, the first Venom teaser is a smashing hit. You see Hardy as Eddie Brock—either pre-Venom Brock, or Brock in the process of being transformed into the host of a hostile alien organism. You get to hear Hardy deliver a New Yorker accent he’s clearly working on; we can’t be entirely sold based on a two-minute teaser, but it’s a promising start. He also gets to brood a lot—his favorite thing!—and goes a bit wild when he’s in an MRI machine, like peak-Bronson Hardy.
Sure, fans might be disappointed that we don’t see a second of Venom in all his slimy glory, but we’ve got plenty of time for that before the film’s release in October. For now, I’m happy to report: In the first Venom trailer, you can see Tom Hardy’s face, and you can understand what Tom Hardy is saying.