Upon Venom's arrival in theaters, our own Leigh Monson wrote quite the memorable review for Ruben Fleischer's film, calling it "a god damn queer rom-com". This opinion drew no small amount of eyeballs to the site (and, yes, a fair amount of whining from the sort of folks you'd expect to whine about such a thing), but Leigh presented a strong case, saying:
"...an Eddie/Venom romance is a legitimate layer of subtext that pervades this movie, whether director Ruben Fleischer intended or realizes it. Eddie and Venom have an initially antagonistic relationship wherein Eddie is used as a means to powerful ends, but Venom becomes convinced of the value of humanity through continual prodding and playful banter with his new host. Eddie doesn't really come to discover any depth to Venom's hungry personality, and Venom’s change of heart isn’t motivated by anything demonstrably extrinsic to his relationship with Eddie, so the rapport that builds between them is framed less like a parasitic intruder and his reluctant vessel learning to get along than between an affectionately bickering couple.
Their relationship closer resembles Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage than any comparable platonic exchanges. And if you think I’m giving this a sexual component that isn’t demonstrated on-screen, there is one scene that absolutely begs to differ. You might assume that Anne’s utility as a character is to be a romantic interest that Eddie needs to win back, but there is, no joke, a scene that punctuates on a kiss that unquestionably frames Eddie and Venom’s reunion as the relationship we are meant to be invested in, and it certainly calls notions of symbiote gender into question in the process, further cementing the text's unintentional queerness."
Well, I've not spoken to Leigh today, but I imagine they'll be very excited to see the trailer Sony just dropped for Venom's Blu-ray release, which is happening in just a matter of weeks.
Take a look at this.
That's pretty great! They're really leaning into the subtext on this one (and, yes, seemingly cribbing a few notes off Deadpool's cheeky marketing campaigns), which indicates the studio's really listening to how Venom's been received. Shrewdly, this ad serves to satisfy two potential Venom fans: those who choose to view it as "a god damn queer rom-com" (it Leigh) and those who choose to view it as something of a Deadpool-esque goof built around a very silly antihero (it me). Well done, Venom marketing team.
Anyway, Venom hits Blu-ray on December 18th. Please plan your viewing parties accordingly.