Superhero and comic book connoisseur Kevin Smith has offered his not-so-positive two cents on the Venom movie trailer. The film, directed by Ruben Fleischer, has been confusing fans since it was first announced, in no small part because it’s not clear yet if Eddie Brock’s solo movie will or will not include the web-slinging Spider-Man. While there are rumors that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (not Spider-Man) will show up during the movie, Sony has yet to confirm whether Venom is connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or exists separately.

Between the film’s high profile cast – which includes Michelle Williams (Ann Weying), Riz Ahmed (Carlton Drake), and Tom Hardy as the titular character – and its potential R-rating, it’s certainly possible that Venom will ultimately become the sleeper superhero movie hit of 2018. Unfortunately, the Venom teaser trailer has struggled to get fans excited for the film and has left various members of the Venom loving community concerned instead, Smith being among them.

Smith shared his opinion on the Venom trailer during his podcast Hollywood Babble-On, telling his co-host Ralph Garman “I didn’t see a Venom trailer. I saw Tom Hardy: The Movie,” before adding that “It’s a teaser, but you can’t call the movie Venom and not show Venom.” Usually pleased with the the content we get in the genre and lenient in his criticisms, it was surprising how candid Smith was regarding Sony’s upcoming superhero film. That said, he wasn’t completely unhappy with the footage, praising how it was able to seemingly find a way to tell Brock’s story without having to depend on Spider-Man’s history with the symbiote:

Clearly, Sony didn’t get the reaction that they were hoping for when they dropped the Venom teaser last week. Instead of positive buzz, people seem mostly underwhelmed with what was shown. And it’s not just because the teaser didn’t reveal Venom, but rather how the video offered little of anything substantial to hype people for the film. It’s difficult to gauge whether this was simply a bad marketing call or if it’s indicative of the film’s overall status right now, but with Hardy headlining Venom shouldn’t be dismissed at this stage either, seeing as the actor is known for being very good at picking his projects. It might’ve greatly benefited the movie if Sony had simply waited to drop the teaser until it had more completed footage on its hands. After all, there’s no rush, what with the film not arriving until October.

Smith’s opinion is so regarded highly in the comic book community that even Chris Hemsworth has admitted that his opinion of his first two Thor solo films was the motivating force for the latter to change things up with Thor: Ragnarok. The risk there was worth it too, as the Taika Waititi-directed film has become the highest grossing Thor solo movie yet and finally made the God of Thunder a MCU darling alongside Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers/Captain America. As such, Sony would be wise to take note of Smith’s opinions as they continue to market Venom from here.

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