venom rob liefeld

With the arrival of the film’s first trailer, we’ve all finally had our first look at ‘Venom’. And for something that spent a decade in development hell, it didn’t exactly land with the sort of splash that Sony was likely hoping for. More of a thud really.

While the trailer hints at a variety of conceptual issues relating to its take on the title character, there’s a bigger problem with the trailer that easily overshadows all of that. Simply put, it’s more than a little generic. While comic fans are able to make some educated guesses with regard to the characters’ identities and their portrayals, that has more to do with prior knowledge than anything in the trailer itself. In fact, were it not for the title card there would be nothing to identify this as a Venom movie, to the point that it could easily pass for a remake of ‘Outbreak’.

Perhaps most glaring of all, though, is that it doesn’t include a single shot of Venom himself. Sure, we see plenty of Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock, but come on, when this thing arrives in theaters, nobody is buying a ticket to see Tom Hardy walk around in a leather jacket. While it’s certainly possible that Sony is planning a big reveal of sorts in a later trailer, that doesn’t make this first one any less underwhelming.

And that’s not just me talking.

That sentiment of “That’s it?” is shared by Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, who described the trailer as “not ready for prime time” and further accused Sony of harassing bloggers who voiced their displeasure.

While we don’t know it for a fact, there have been rumors that suggest the “not ready for prime time” nature of the trailer is due to Sony rushing it out the door, presumably with the hope of attaching the trailer to screenings of ‘Black Panther‘. This would account for the minimal special effects, particularly given a recent Instagram post from Tom Hardy suggesting that principal photography only wrapped in January.  If that’s the case, it would explain the lack of Venom (the effects may not have been completed yet) and further suggest that the trailer footage is from early in production (as they would have had more time to finish it). This on top of the fact that there have been reports that Sony rushed ‘Venom’ into production (to the extent one can rush a movie that has spent a decade in limbo). It can’t help but make one wonder just what Sony thinks they’re doing with this one.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, ‘Venom’ stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott. The long awaited ‘Spider-Man’ spinoff is set to arrive in theaters on October 5, 2018.