EDITORIAL: VENOM Teaser Trailer - The Fine Line Between Spoilerific and Satisfying

EDITORIAL: VENOM Teaser Trailer - The Fine Line Between Spoilerific and Satisfying

EDITORIAL: VENOM Teaser Trailer - The Fine Line Between Spoilerific and Satisfying

Many fans aren't happy that the first teaser for Venom didn't actually show, you know, VENOM. Some have defended the teaser for showing restraint, but can we really consider a glimpse of Venom a spoiler?

Last week, the first teaser for Sony Pictures’ Venom was released to a collective shrug. While the film’s stellar cast makes me optimistic that we’ll finally get a good on-screen version of Venom, there is still a general sense of apathy towards this movie. This can be attributed to its vague connections to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as Sony’s inconsistent record of making superhero films without the help of Marvel Studios. 
 
This meant that the film’s first teaser was under some pressure to get fans excited. However, our first look at the upcoming movie didn’t exactly wow people. In my opinion, nothing looked terrible, but it was certainly lacking the jaw-dropping moments that the best teasers in recent memory have included. Think the Hulk bursting into the gladiator pit to face off against the God of Thunder in the teaser for Thor: Ragnarok, or Georgie shouting “You’ll Float Too!” in the It teaser.
 
Not only was the teaser lacking a proper money shot, but it was also lacking the titular character. Fans have been vocal about their confusion and displeasure over not getting a look at Venom in the teaser, but those defending it have been quick to point out that fans would complain just as loudly if the trailer showed too much. However, since the movie is called Venom, can a glimpse of Venom in the trailer actually be considered a spoiler?
 
We can’t fairly answer this question until the movie comes out, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it better not be. If Sony Pictures considers a shot of Tom Hardy in the symbiote suit a spoiler, then one would assume that we’re not going to be seeing Venom until relatively late in the film. If this is the case, the movie will be a full-fledged origin story where we don’t really get to see Venom kick ass—and lots of fans are going to be underwhelmed.


 
Perhaps Sony is being overly cautious since they have been criticized in the past for revealing too much in their trailers. This happened with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, so there’s a chance that the studio would rather err on the side of caution. But with reaction to the teaser being not quite as glowing as Sony would have hoped, it’s likely that we’ll get a look at Venom in the film’s next trailer.
 
While this movie is going to have to sell itself to win over skeptical fans, I definitely understand why the studio wouldn’t want to show its cards right away. Even if we ignore Sony’s spotty history of producing trailers, there is something special about saving a big reveal for the actual movie. Going back to the Thor example, I couldn’t help but think how awesome it would have been if Hulk’s appearance was kept secret while I was watching the movie for the first time. 
 
Of course, the realities of film marketing don’t allow for a fully-realized mystery box approach to cinema. Since we haven’t actually seen the movie yet, it’s hard to say if keeping Venom’s appearance a secret is the right move. However, it won’t be easy to sell a Venom movie to audiences without actually showing them Venom. While the character is very popular, Sony doesn’t have the luxury of getting the general audience to buy tickets without knowing anything about it.
 
Marketing pressures are likely going to force Sony to show us Venom at some point, so let’s just hope they don’t spoil the movie in the process.
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