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Watch: the new Venom trailer reveals Tom Hardy’s toothy antihero at last

Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock flirts with Michelle Williams and insanity.

Aja Romano is a culture reporter for Vox, focusing on criticism and the ethics of culture. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot.

The first trailer for Venom, featuring Tom Hardy’s growly voiced comic book antihero — no, not that one, the other one — was almost laughably devoid of plot details. Tom Hardy had some sort of angst for some sort of reason that vaguely had to do with the supervillain-ish Venom.

Luckily for Marvel fans who’ve hungered for more details about Hardy’s passion project, the latest Venom trailer, officially released today by Sony after it leaked on Monday, tries to make up for the first trailer’s lack of content by overdelivering on plot and a big Venom reveal.

Image of a spoiler warning Spoilers for The Last of Us below.

That means we get our first real look at Venom’s human alter ego — the dogged street-smart reporter Eddie Brock, played by Hardy with his typical mix of mild manners and toughness. Eddie is investigating Riz Ahmed’s equally mild-mannered but definitely evil scientist, Dr. Carlton Drake, while flirting hard with Drake’s lawyer Anne Weying (Michelle Williams).

Drake has developed the Venom symbiote, which fuses with a human host to generate superpowers, through a series of horrifying hybrid experiments — one of which attacks Eddie and sends him down his, uh, venomous path.

Venom starts to erode Eddie’s sanity immediately, to disturbing, tragicomic effect. That’s still rare for a superhero film, but it’s clear that in a post-Deadpool world, Sony is okay with letting its heroes go a little mad sometimes. Kudos to Tom Hardy for always keeping it lively despite his inability to pass up the chance to have his characters do crazy cartoon voices; watching him struggle with reality is the most unexpectedly interesting part of the trailer.

Oh, wait, except for this bit:

Sony also released a new poster for the film.

Sony Entertainment via Twitter