Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 creative director Bryan Intihar has revealed more about Tony Todd’s performance as Venom in the upcoming game, describing the actor as being the perfect choice to play the tenured villain. According to Intihar, Todd completely embraced the Venom role in his audition, utilising his iconic voice – made famous in his role as Candyman – to portray the character’s slimy, oozing brand of terror.
‘Everything we talked about [with] Venom — that sense of strength, that sense of fear, that sense of overwhelming, so different from Peter — Tony embraces that completely in the performance,’ Intihar told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview.
Venom was reportedly an extremely difficult character to cast, and the task was held off for as long as possible to get it right. ‘[It was] one of the things I was avoiding for as long as possible, because I was so scared of who we were going to get to do the voice,’ Intihar said.
Intihar was reportedly familiar with Todd’s work on Candyman, and later found he had actually sent in an audition for Venom – one that made an impression on the entire Insomniac Games team.
In selecting Venom as the primary villain for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Insomniac wanted an ‘anti-Spider-Man’ who would mirror-reflect the inherent goodness of the character. Todd elevated this material by bringing a darkness to the role, according to Intihar.
‘We wanted to try something very different, and I don’t think you can get much more different from Doc Ock than you do Venom,’ Intihar explained, referring to Doc Ock’s main villain role in the first game. ‘It’s about power, it’s about strength, it’s about being slighted, it’s about Peter being involved much more in the creation of Venom. I think that’s what attracted us.’
Per senior narrative director Jon Paquette, this direction allowed the team to dive deeper into a gritty, more emotional story. ‘One of the things that is great about Spider-Man as a character is he’s always got to make sacrifices. The symbiote provides a lot of grist for that mill, so to speak.’
Paquette told EW that the story is about what happens when ‘darkness takes over’ and how that impacts friends and loved ones. ‘There’s a lot of juicy drama that we can get from that.’ Tony Todd’s Venom will play a key part in that drama, as he threatens the stability of Peter Parker’s life, and his responsibilities as a noble hero.
We’ll learn more about Venom’s role, and about the wider world of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, when Insomniac Games descends on San Diego Comic-Con on 20 July 2023 PT.