Ruben Fleischer always knew that directing Venom would present him with a rare chance to make a unique comic-book movie.
“I was really excited to do a darker, grittier superhero movie,” Fleischer recently explained to me over the phone.
“The opportunity that existed with this film was the chance to differentiate ourselves from all of the other comic-book movies out there.”
But in order to do that Fleischer quickly recognized that he had to remain true and authentic to the “Venom” comics, even though he was missing one of the main components from the source material.
“We didn’t want to short change the fun factor of the comic book.”
“Whether that’s with the action, suspense or comedy, which some people will be surprised there’s so much of in the film.”
“That was my guiding principle throughout. I wanted to make sure that if we were making a ‘Venom’ movie that we were ultimately making it for the fans.”
“So I wanted to be sure that the movie we were making was as true and authentic to the comics as we could make it.”
“That being said we weren’t able to include ‘Spider-Man’ in our movie. So we were starting with a deficit, in terms of being true to the comics.”
“In every other aspect, whether it was tonally or just giving nods to the comics, we really wanted it to be true to the comics as we could make it.”
Fleischer’s desired tone for “Venom” and the relationship between Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote that merges with his body was inspired by several movies.
His biggest reference point being the 1981 cult classic “An American Werewolf In London,” “which revolves around someone going through a transformation that they don’t really understand.”
“There’s also a real theme of a buddy movie in our film,” added Fleischer. “So I pulled from ’48 Hours’ and ‘Midnight Run’.”
“Where you get that sense of two characters that start out in opposition really going on a journey together and forging an unlikely friendship.”
More specifically, though, Fleischer again insisted that its tone came straight from the “Venom” comics.
“It was always really important that the film was entertaining.”
“The first script I read for ‘Venom’ was really funny and had great jokes. So that was the tone from the beginning.”
“But we all took our cues from the comics. Where Eddie and Venom have a complicated but also entertaining relationship.”
“The Venom of the comics is very funny. He diffuses his horrific appearance and monstrous qualities with humor.”
“In the comics he has great lines and one-liners, great jokes and catch phrases.”
“I was really excited to embrace the tone of the comics, which has combinations of horror and humor.”
But, considering just how toxic and tribal the comic-book fanbase has become online, did Fleischer have any concerns about entering the superhero and comic-book genre with “Venom”?
“I think anybody that sets out to make a movie just wants it to be good and appreciated by fans but certainly within the comic book genre.”
“Where there is a built in audience who has such a love for the characters and are so protective, you want to respect that audience and do your best to deliver a movie that they are satisfied with.”
“I used the comics as my guide always to be as true to them as I could be. Because that’s why I got to make this movie and the reason why fans love this character so much.”
“I only wanted to deliver a movie that will hopefully satisfy fans of the movie and the comics.”
You can see if he achieves just that when “Venom” is released in cinemas on October 5.