It’s true, kids love the bad guy. At least according to Venom producer Avi Arad. The executive made waves recently when he proclaimed that Sony’s new antihero resonates with a younger audience. This comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering most observers expect the upcoming Venom movie to be rated R. To be fair, no official rating has been delivered for the movie yet.
The trailer, which you can watch here, certainly seems to display a darker tone and vibe than the previous Spider-Man movies, from which Venom originates. However, Arad may have a point when he told Vulture that, “Kids love Venom.”
This makes sense on a few levels. After all, Venom is a much more cathartic character than Spider-Man. While Spider-Man is out saving the day, recycling, cleaning his room, and getting A’s on his science tests, Venom is using and abusing his ill-gotten super powers for personal gain. He’s vile, mean-spirited, funny, and relatable in a way that the (mostly) clean-cut Peter Parker can’t be.
So what can audiences expect from the new Venom flick? Ultra-violence or kid-friendly shenanigans?
Perhaps both. The trailer hints at some intriguing aspects to the Venom character. Yes, there are a few holdover elements from the Spider-Man films, such as scenes involving esoteric lab equipment like bubbling beakers and a cellstar 24 well plate. But the best parts of Venom as a character don’t have anything to do with the pseudoscience behind his origin. Rather, he’s a fantastic foil to the heroic web-slinger precisely because he’s different. While Spider-Man embraces the responsibilities that accompany his new-found superpowers, Venom seeks to use his super-human abilities only to serve his own desires. In the classic sense, he truly is more anti hero than strict villain. And it’s not difficult to draw parallels between Venom and Dr. Jekyll.
Regardless, what the movie will actually be like is all conjecture for the moment. (We still don’t even know if Spider-Man will make an appearance in this Marvel spin-off.) The film will hit US theaters on October 5, and stars Tom Hardy as both Eddie Brock and Venom. Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, and Jenny Slate will also feature prominently in the film.