Tom Hardy - or someone who hangs out quite near Tom Hardy a lot - has possibly revealed what part of his costume will look like in next year’s Venom movie.
An unofficial but maybe not, like completely unofficial Instagram account (it looks like it’s run by someone really close to him, like a PA or BFF or something) has posted some shots from the Venom set (there are six pictures here - flip through ‘em), and there are a few things we can deduce from them:
1. Tom Hardy likes pulling the same stupid face in a lot of pictures. It turns out, if you’re as handsome as Tom Hardy, you still look good when doing a weird kind of Robert De Niro thing with your mush.
2. He also likes flashing the V sign when having his picture taken, the rude pup. Or, it’s a V for Venom, and he’s just all about the branding.
3. More relevantly, look at what he’s wearing in the first image. It looks all military and fatigue-y, with belts and buckles all over the shop. This suggests they’re doing the Agent Venom storyline, or at least touching upon it.
For the unfamiliar, the deal with Venom is that it’s a wearable alien symbiote in that requires a human host to thrive. It gives them super badass abilities in exchange, and a giant tongue, but also generally causes them to go a little bit psychotically evil. Comics are great/ridiculous.
After bonding with Spider-Man, and using his body to commit crimes at night (leading to a mysteriously knackered Peter Parker waking up all clueless and unaware of his midnight maraudings) it bonded with a pissed-off, suicidal journalist named Eddie Brock, who hated Spider-Man and used his new alien powers to repeatedly try to kill him.
Here’s the thing though. Tom Hardy is definitely playing Eddie Brock, but in the comics, it was Flash Thompson who became Agent Venom, not Brock. Flash Thompson is best known for being a bully who picked on Peter Parker in high school, hence the amazingly twatty name. He was played by a young Joe Manganiello in the Tobey Maguire movie, and it’s weird to watch it now and see him just quite big, rather than the strappingest dude in the world (as seen in the Magic Mike movies).
In the Agent Venom storyline he was much less of a dick, though. After growing up, calming down and befriending Peter Parker, he lost his legs behaving heroically in the Iraq War, and was selected for a black-ops team which involved him wearing the alien suit for no more than 48 hours at a time (to stop him turning too evil). As Agent Venom, he also had the best weapon in the world, a ‘multi-gun’, a gun that transforms into any other gun or lots of guns.
Are they doing the Agent Venom storyline with Eddie Brock instead, because it’s really over-the-top and fun, and Tom Hardy looks more like a black-ops badass than a depressed journalist? Is that acceptable? Or is there just a scene when Eddie Brock is in fancy dress as an army dude, and we’re reading too much into it?
Not too much else has been revealed about the film, other than:
a) Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed and Jenny Slate are in it, in unspecified roles.
b) The supervillain Carnage - another alien symbiote, but one that bonds with someone who’s already a psychopath, creating a kind of psychopath squared, is in it.
c) It’ll help set up at least two spinoffs - Morbius the Living Vampire (about a scientist who accidentally turns himself into a vampire) and Silver & Black (about Black Cat and Silver Sable, two sometimes-buds, sometimes-adversaries of Spider-Man).
d) It’s out on 25 October next year, and rated R in the US, so at least a 15 here.