Where the initial teaser for Sony Pictures’ Venom gave us many shots of Tom Hardy’s unobscured face to gaze at and enjoy, the latest trailer for the film, released Monday, is all about the freaky symbiote-melded monster that Hardy’s Eddie Brock will become. And I really do mean freaky—when Venom is revealed at the end, we’re looking at Pennywise levels of razor-sharp teeth and a Gene Simmons–size tongue.
He also says “We are Venom,” and anytime a singular character refers to himself as legion, that is very disconcerting! This isn’t the Eric Forman–as–Eddie Brock of the mid-2000s, thank goodness. This Venom—and the Venom movie—looks quite promising.
There are some other things going for Venom, in no particular order: beloved thespian Michelle Williams plays Hardy’s girlfriend; Riz Ahmed is the creepy corporate villain experimenting with the symbiote, an oddly perfect role for him; a bespectacled Jenny Slate shows up at a bodega; Brock is a seasoned reporter who opens interviews with questions like “DO YOU CONDUCT SECRET EVIL EXPERIMENTS THAT KILL PEOPLE, RIZ AHMED?” and expects a response; Woody Harrelson is rumored to show up as Carnage, and I can’t stop thinking about it; the film is R-rated.
This could be one of the first superhero movies that takes the right cues from Deadpool’s hard-R success—instead of endless profanity and fourth-wall breaking from Ryan Reynolds, a rated-R Venom movie can lean in on the unsettling body horror that should come with a hostile alien organism possessing Tom Hardy. If we don’t see those ginormous teeth taking a chunk out of someone, it will be majorly disappointing.
Here’s hoping director Ruben Fleischer drew inspiration from the works of David Cronenberg and made Venom a gross, fun, eerie flick befitting the slimy antihero and the movie’s brooding star. Venom hits theaters October 5.