The teaser for Venom, the supervillain movie starring Tom Hardy, has been released and it’s certainly a series of moving images. I’m honestly not sure what to make of this. It’s just Hardy narrating about how everyone has their THING and his THING is DEMONS, and he’s Doing A Voice—because Tom Hardy ALWAYS Does A Voice, and I don’t mean putting on American accent, I mean he sounds a little like Mike Tyson—and it’s kind of funny? I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny. I think this is supposed to be kind of like horror? Like maybe Ridley Scott-esque body horror? Except we don’t really get into what is happening at all. They’re taking for granted that everyone knows who and what Venom is, and maybe they do because even Lainey has a vague grasp on the concept. But something in this teaser isn’t quite clicking, and I think it’s down to a sheer lack of context. There are a lot of images—let’s hear it for Michelle Williams’ 1990s mom hair—and nothing connecting them. Except Tom Hardy’s voice.
A big question mark on Venom is if it will connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last summer, while promoting their joint venture Spider-Man: Homecoming, Amy Pascal kept insinuating that the MCU and Sony’s developing “Spider-verse” will be linked, while Marvel boss Kevin Feige kept making this face. They were clearly not on the same page about whether or not the wider Spider-Man stories would link up with the Avengers stuff. Marvel is borrowing Peter Parker, for now, but Feige didn’t seem enthusiastic about the idea of having to share his carefully crafted cinematic universe with Sony, where he has no input on quality control. (Indeed, Amy Pascal ended up walking back her comments.) So there’s a rumor Tom Holland might pop into Venom as Peter Parker, but who knows. If Marvel gets their way, probably not.
Final note on this teaser. This is now the third superhero trailer we’ve seen while awaiting Black Panther. Not for nothing, all of them are merely whelming. Ant-Man and the Wasp? Okay, I guess. Avengers: Infinity War? That’s sure a lot of Avengers. Venom? I mean, we’ll see. Maybe part of the problem with attempting to hype a superhero movie right now is that all anyone can think about, care about, or talk about is Black Panther. We’re waiting for that movie so hard we literally don’t have bandwidth for anything else. So, Venom, why don’t you come back in a couple months and we’ll try this again, okay?