You can view a seemingly boring photo of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock / Venom over at IGN. That photo, released Thursday, had a lot of people saying, “Oh cool, the first picture of Tom Hardy in Venom looks… uh, that’s just Tom Hardy, guys.” But if you looked a little closer at the memo pad he’s holding, a few plot details sneak out.
The memo pad makes it clear he’s interviewing someone, not that we’d be surprised he’s working as a journalist (that was expected). But it’s who he’s interview that’s interesting. Here’s what the memo pad says, with the third question being partially obscured:
So how exactly does the Life Foundation go about testing its pharmaceuticals?
What about the allegations your empire is built on?
That you recruit the most vulnerable of us to volunteer for the testing that more often than not end up […] them?
So he’s interviewing someone from the Life Foundation, a shady group convinced the world will end in a nuclear war, so they start planning a new society for their wealthy clients. They also create five symbiotes (Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony) that Venom eventually has to fight (in Planet of the Symbiotes) with assistance from Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider.
Presumably he’s interviewing Riz Ahmed’s character, who was previously rumored to be Carnage but has more recently been rumored to be Life Foundation boss Dr. Carlton Drake, although we wouldn’t be shocked if they simplified the storyline by having Drake become a symbiote as the main villain.
This all lines up with what we knew about which Venom comics the movie is based on: Lethal Protector and the aforementioned Planet of the Symbiotes. In Lethal Protector, Venom is recast as an anti-hero after he and Spider-Man have a truce. Venom moves to San Francisco, but his life is complicated by a hit taken out on him by a former victim’s father and by the Life Foundation, who want to study him to create their own symbiotes. Those two influences were revealed last month at Comic Con Experience 2017 in Brazil, where the short video above was filmed (and finally released yesterday by Sony). The full panel video is available at IGN.
Venom opens this October 5th.