Venom director Ruben Fleischer revealed his inspirations for the project, which dives deeper into the symbiote side of Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters.
Fleischer revealed to USA Today that his main muse was John Landis’ beloved lycanthropic classic An American Werewolf in London. Described as a “body horror” film, Venom finds Eddie Brock “the unwitting host for an alien symbiote that turns him into a snarling, fearsome antihero.” That description is somewhat akin to American Werewolf‘s tragic lead character David Kessler, an American backpacker whose stroll on the English moors takes a turn that causes him to uncontrollably become a beast every full moon.
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Fleischer hinted at Robert Louis Stevenson as another influence, saying at the heart of both London and Venom is the old Jekyll-and-Hyde duality. “In the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing, he’s [Venom] the real Hyde,” Fleischer said. “He’ll rip somebody’s head off and eat their brains.”
He added that there is a balance of humor that goes with the horror, embodied in something as small as Venom’s “silly tongue always dangling out of his mouth that kind of undercuts the ferociousness of the jaws.” Interpolating levity into a horrific situation — mostly by way of wisecracking corpses — is something American Werewolf in London is famous for too.
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The piece also revealed a new photo of the symbiote, as seen below:
Hitting theaters on October 5, Fleischer’s Venom stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom, Michelle Williams as Anne Weying and Riz Ahmed as Carlton Drake/Riot.