The first Venom reactions are now online. The initial idea for a feature-length film based on the iconic comic book character (not the alien suit), created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, was suggested way back in the late-1990s. Unfortunately, despite a number of people being involved with the project since it was first proposed, New Line Cinema never got the movie off the ground. It wasn't until Sony Pictures squeezed Venom into Spider-Man 3 that fans finally got a live-action adaptation of the villain-turned-anti-hero.
Producer Avi Arad was responsible for Venom's inclusion in Sam Raimi's third and final Spider-Man movie. While he wanted to spinoff the character into a standalone movie in the late-2000s, it wasn't until recently that things finally started to fall into place. And now, Ruben Fleischer's live-action Venom movie, starring Tom Hardy as the eponymous character, with a script by Jeff Pinkner, Scott Rosenberg, and Kelly Marcel, is releasing in theaters this week. It's the first installment in Sony's new Marvel universe, which happens to be comprised entirely of Spider-Man villains, but the question is, does it live up to the hype?
Related: Venom Movie Has TWO Post-Credits Scenes
Following the world premiere screening of Venom in Los Angeles, CA, today, the first batch of social media reactions from movie critics have started to appear online. Below are some SPOILER-FREE reactions. Take a look:
Mike Ryan -
Meg Downey -
Beatrice Verhoeven -
Brandon Davis -
Perri Nemiroff -
Tom Jorgensen -
It seems that Venom isn't an outright hit for Sony Pictures nor is it a dud like some were expecting (though it's clear that there are some critics who believe the movie is an unquestionable failure); it can sit right in the middle and possibly satisfy longtime comic book fans as well as general audiences who aren't familiar with the character. Considering how long the movie has been in development, not to mention the fact that quite a few of the people behind the camera were responsible for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (including Spider-Man 3), it's not too surprising that the Venom adaptation may feel like it belongs in another era - specifically one prior to the modern comic book movie renaissance ignited by Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and Jon Favreau's Iron Man.
However, it's worth noting that these are merely reactions, not reviews. A more nuanced take on the movie should be expected from critics as the movie's release date nears. For now, Sony Pictures will be looking to see how Venom performs at the box office over its opening weekend, which will be indicative of the film's success. Plus, the future of Sony's new Marvel universe may be dependent on Venom's commercial success.