You can now count Tom Hardy among the many award-winning actors who have joined the ranks of the superhero universe. Hardy will be battling for Marvel in the upcoming Venom, the first teaser trailer for which was released this morning. Venom is a supervillian turned antihero from the Spiderman universe and Hardy seems like a perfect fit to embody a character with a troubled backstory and dubious motives. “Everyone’s got their thing. Maybe it’s a break-up, a death, an accident,” we hear Hardy lament as Venom in the trailer’s opening moments, giving us dark origin stories vibes as we see him lying in what looks like an MRI machine, seemingly awaiting some dramatic transformation.
As a huge Tom Hardy fan, nothing will get me to the theater faster than shots of his tortured and beautiful mug. Seriously, Christopher Nolan should be tried for repeated crimes against humanity for casting Hardy in so many of his films only to cover half his face (Dunkirk, The Dark Knight Rises and I’m certain he had something to do with Fury Road). And I don’t say that JUST cause Hardy is an attractive guy – he emotes with that face and does it brilliantly, as in some of his best films like Bronson, Locke and Warrior. So yes, I’m excited for him to take on this role and imbue it and the larger Marvel universe with some soulful longing, something I always feel is a welcome addition to all the amazing action and sometimes convoluted plots therein.
In fact, one of my favorite shots from this short trailer, Hardy sprinting through the woods, pursued by some unseen force, reminded me of another tortured hero I adore, Hugh Jackman’s Logan. In my opinion, Logan was the absolute best of 2017’s comic adaptation offerings, so if Venom aspires to the same brand of thoughtful drama (mixed with badass fights and breathtaking chases of course), I’d be a very happy viewer.
What else can we take from Venom’s trailer? As always with Hardy, it’s fun to play the “What accent is he doing here?” game. Hint- the answer is always who the hell knows, but somehow he makes it work. Michelle Williams makes a quick appearance as the love interest, I’m guessing. She’s a welcome addition to any film, but is there some contractual agreement where any actress appearing in a Marvel film has to wear an ill-fitting wig? And we also catch a fleeting glimpse of Riz Ahmed doing something villiany.
And who’s not here? Well, notably, Spider-man or any of his cohorts. Though not much is known about its plot, many are speculating this spin-off will stand mostly alone, apart from the larger franchise. Also, technically, there’s no Venom here. Sure, we see plenty of Hardy, but seemingly in Eddie Brock mode. Brock is the character who comes to host the alien symbiote that transforms him into Venom. And only at the very end do we get a few moments of Brock undergoing that drastic metamorphosis. And it doesn’t look like much fun. So as far as Hardy getting into full superhero mode (I’m guessing tights or at least some kind of costume will be involved), we’ll just have to wait and see. Considering that it’s Tom Hardy at the helm, I’m perfectly happy to do just that.