When Venom arrived in cinemas in 2018, it was preceded by the knowledge that a number of scenes had been cut from the movie. This titbit of information came via lead actor Tom Hardy, who mentioned that 30 to 40 minutes of footage was not included in the finished film.
During an interview with Comics Explained, Hardy was asked what was his favourite scene, to which he replied, “things that aren’t in this movie.”
“There are, like, 30 to 40 minutes’ worth of scenes that aren’t in this movie… all of them. Mad puppeteering scenes, dark comedy scenes. You know what I mean? They just never made it in.”
Hardy’s comments were picked up by many media outlets at the time, often with negative connotations about the way the movie was shaping up (it’s a troubled production etc). However, in the interview Hardy was merely suggesting that various scenes were shot and not all of them were part of the final cut – as not everything that is shot can be kept in the movie.
So what scenes were deleted from Venom?
The majority of the 30 to 40 minutes of material have not been made available for public viewing and no member of the cast or crew has gone on record to say what wasn’t included in the theatrical cut. The only hint of what is missing can be found in some additional material that was released with the home video version of the movie.
The deleted scenes that have been released
The Blu-ray and digital release of Venom included three deleted scenes: Ride to hospital, Car alarm, and San Quentin extended. Two of theses scenes are new, while one is an extended cut of an existing scene.
Here’s how each deleted scene plays out.
Deleted scene 1: Ride to hospital
In the first deleted scene, Eddie Brock is in the back of a taxi where he is being driven to the hospital. While sitting in the backseat of the car he gets into a disagreement with Venom.
During the conversation, Eddie talks about how he wants to be a super hero, to which Venom responds: “Super hero – give me a break?” Venom adds: “Might I imbue you with 600 million years of alien wisdom? Try harder not to be a dick.”
The scene is largely played for laughs and lasts for around a minute in length. It is mostly a throw-away scene; however, it does provide the information that Venom is either 600 million years old, or his species is 600 million years old.
Was it right to cut this scene?
With the exception of the ‘600 million years’ comment, the scene is not essential to the story, which is probably why it was cut, but it does play up the comical interplay between Eddie and Venom.
Deleted scene 2: Car alarm
In the second deleted scene, Eddie iswalking down a back street in San Francisco, when he suddenly begins to transform into Venom. In the distance, a car alarm can be heard – something which instantly causes Venom a great deal of irritation.
As the alarm continues to create noise, Venom completely takes over Eddie’s body, finds the car and begins to smash it up. A kid watches on as Venom flips over the car in order to silence the alarm.
Was it right to cut this scene?
The scene lasts around 30 seconds and reinforces Venom’s weakness to sound. However, as this is something which is already noted in the movie (via the MRI scene) it is easy to see why this material was cut.
Deleted scene 3: San Quentin extended
And finally, the third scene is an extended cut of the mid-credit scene which appears in the theatrical release of Venom. As a refresher, the scene – which takes place at San Quentin Prison – involves Eddie visiting serial killer, Cletus Kasady.
In this extended take, the scene opens up the same way as it does in the theatrical cut with Eddie arriving at the prison, talking to a guard, then walking into a room where Kasady is being held captive. From here the main difference is the dialogue and the length of the scene.
During this take, Kasady is given more dialogue where he talks about eating eyeballs and mentions that the FBI want to know where he buried his victims’ bodies. Kasady then toys with Eddie and suggests that speaking to him is the interview of a lifetime.
The scene lasts for around three minutes, with the extra dialogue offering a better look at who Cletus Kasady is. The scene isn’t much different than the one featured in the theatrical release; it is just longer.
Should this scene have been included in the film?
Yes. The extra snippets of dialogue offer a better picture of who Kasady is, while hinting at the future relationship between the two characters. The scene was presumably trimmed for length, but it would have been good to see it in the finished picture.
In total, the three scenes discussed above equate to around four-and-a-half minutes of footage, which is considerably short of the 30-40 minutes of missing footage that Tom Hardy mentioned. So, what other scenes were cut from the movie?
The Peter Parker scene
In addition to the three scenes included on the home video release of Venom, it is also believed that Spider-Man actor, Tom Holland recorded a cameo for the movie. The actor reportedly appeared in the film as Peter Parker, but his scene was removed from the finished film at the request of Disney/Marvel Studios.
No information has been provided about the Parker deleted scene and no footage has emerged. It’s doubtful the scene was particularly lengthy or had any real impact on the story.
Could the remaining scenes simply be alternate takes?
From studying the trailers (the initial teaser trailer + two full-length trailers) I can see no signs of any additional material having made it into the public domain. None of the behind the scenes featurettes/promotional material offer up any additional insights, and there are no lengthy discussions from cast and crew talking about what was removed from the movie.
Hardy made reference to “mad puppeteering scenes, dark comedy scenes”, but nothing beyond this. So, could the majority of the missing footage simply be alternate takes or extended scenes with some ad libs on his part?
When Tom Hardy mentioned that scenes were missing from the movie, he could have been referring to alternate or extended takes rather than significant material cut from the film. Sometimes, actors will record multiple versions of a scene (different dialogue, different positioning, etc) with the director choosing the best to appear in the film.
It is possible that the majority of the 30-40 minutes cut from the film are just extended takes of existing scenes, rather than anything new.
Why do scenes get deleted from movies?
Deleting scenes from films is common practice in the movie industry, and material can be removed at various stages throughout production. Sometimes scenes will be dropped or removed for budgetary reasons and/or time, especially if they require lots of costly post-production effects work. At other times, scenes are cut because the director or the studio believe the scene interrupts the flow of the story.
During the production of a movie, scenes that once seemed important will become redundant during the editing stage, as they don’t bring anything important to the screen. They may also be trimmed for length, as in the case of the San Quentin Prison scene.
Scenes can also be reworked or moved to a different point in the movie, rather than where they originally appeared in the script. For example, if a director feels that a character is introduced too late in the picture, they may move the intro scene to an earlier point in time.
The key with making a movie is to present a story that flows from start to finish. If this means cutting dialogue, action scenes, or anything in between then it will happen in order to get the picture finished.
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For further information about Venom or the Spider-Man movie series, please take a look at one of the recommended reads below.