So let’s begin with my initial reaction of “…huh?”
A few days ago, Tom Hardy posted a set photo of the upcoming Venom movie to Instagram. The image is super close up and incredibly unclear, mind you. But from what can be made out, he appears to be in some sort of harness.
The internet machine naturally did what it does, and theorized. One particular theory is that the apparatus is military gear. And based on that assumption, along with confirmation that Hardy is, in fact, playing the Eddie Brock rendition of the character, some believed Sony might be mixing Brock’s backstory with that of Flash Thompson.
For clarification, Eddie Brock was a journalist, and rival to Peter Parker. As a result of Peter’s choices while under the influence of the Black Suit, Brock came to hate Peter and Spider-Man, blaming both for ruining his life. Later, when Peter was separated from the Black Suit, it found its way to Eddie and their pair’s combined hatred for the Web-Slinger bred a new menace called Venom.
However, Flash Thompson’s backstory is entirely different. Originally introduced as a bully in Peter’s high school days, Flash vanished from comics for a while until being reintroduced as a war veteran who’d lost his legs in combat. During a period in which the symbiote had been separated from Brock and had gone through one or two other hosts (including Mac Gargan, originally The Scorpion), it wound up with Flash, transforming him into “Agent Venom.” The key difference was that this character was notably less of a grey area, and was decidedly more heroic. The other key difference is that this backstory obviously has very little to do with Peter Parker, in the long run.
That second point is pretty much the only thing I can honestly see in this idea that could support the claim of merging the two stories. It would potentially help them deal with a Venom movie in which Spider-Man’s involvement is essentially zero. Yet there’s still one issue with this. If that was the direction they intended to take things, they’d be far better off just using Flash Thompson instead of Eddie. Mind you, I prefer Eddie over literally every other iteration of the character. However, if your dedication to that character is going to be in name only, then you may as well not use him at all.
Another possible angle is the idea of using this veteran status as a means of garnering sympathy for the character. However, Eddie is already fairly sympathetic in a way and tragic in many others. Eddie does want to be the good guy. But the symbiote keeps pulling him the other way. And the suit has become an addiction he can’t live without. In fact, there was even a time where he literally couldn’t live without it.
Now, there’s also the argument that this rumor simply isn’t the case. As limited as my knowledge of these things may be, that image is simply too close up and unclear to be able to distinguish what that harness actually belongs to. The military gear theory just seems like a bit of a conclusion jump. Watching the Spider-Man production videos and photos, and even those of non-Spidey action movies, harnesses are a pretty common thing, behind the scenes. Yes, said harnesses are usually a bit more hidden, but we’re fairly certain Hardy’s Venom won’t just be a skin-tight suit like in the last cinematic attempt at the character, using motion-capture to bring the character to life. So that’s a possibility. Of course, there are a number of other things they could also be doing.
What do you think? Could Eddie Brock be seeing a backstory overhaul or is this just a bit of far-reaching speculation? If it does happen, could it be a good idea? Perhaps there’s something I’m not exactly seeing. Feel free to leave a comment. As always, thanks for reading, folks.
Keep up the awesome, and take care,