Venom Director Gets Candid About Harsh Reviews (Phase Zero Exclusive)

In 2018, Sony launched their first Venom with Tom Hardy in the titular role, playing both Eddie Brock and the voice of the symbiote which inhabits him. For the most part, Hardy's work was one of the few elements of the film which critics offered any complimentary words for. Some harsh reviews surfaced, resulting in a very low score on the review aggregate site RottenTomatoes. Only 30% of approved critics gave Venom a positive review but 81% of moviegoers approved of the film on the site. The movie was a massive success at the box office, taking in more than $850 million and going on to spawn a sequel. In an interview with's MCU podcast Phase Zero, Venom director Ruben Fleischer got candid about how the reviews of the film impact his memories of Marvel film.

"The critical reaction, I'm not going to lie, is a bummer just because you work so hard on something," Fleischer admitted. "And I know, having watched it with audiences, how much they enjoyed it. So, it was a little surprising to me how negative they were. And I do think it's unwarranted because the audiences, as you said, really loved the film. Otherwise, I don't think it would've been quite the success it was. So, it was disheartening, for sure, that it has this kind of association." Fleischer did not return for the sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, as he instead went on to work with Sony again for Uncharted.

"Hopefully, over time, people will... There's plenty of movies that are beloved that, when they came out, were panned by critics," Fleischer said. "It's just unfortunate that RottenTomatoes exists as this aggregate that then, forever, will have an assigned rating to a thing. That being said, it is what it is. And if people like the movie, that's all I care about. And, hopefully, the same will be true of Uncharted. I made it for the audience. I made it to be a really fun, escapist, action packed adventure. And, at the end of the day, that's who I made the movie for. And I'll be proud and excited if fans and audiences love the film."

Venom: Let There Be Carnage recently took the box office edge from its predecessor, narrowly beating its box office haul. With a 58% review score from approved critics on RottenTomatoes, the Venom sequel is also considered to be "Rotten" by the site's review standards. Like Venom before it, Let There Be Carnage won the hearts of audiences, landing an 84% approval ratings from moviegoers on the same site. Though Fleischer did not direct the sequel, he has since expressed interest in seeing another film, especially if a Spider-Man and Venom crossover comes to fruition whether he directs it or not. 

For now, Fleischer is gearing up for the release of Uncharted in theaters this weekend. The film got a positive review from's Tanner Dedmon. "There's a briskness to Uncharted's story reminiscent of smashing through cutscene dialogue as the good and bad guys are ferried around in a game of cat and mouse," Deadmon wrote. "Most plot pivotal moments and twists are either predictable or unsurprising, but that doesn't take away much from the film given how well-trodden the treasure hunting genre is already."

Phase Zero's full interview with Fleischer, including a spoiler-free dive into Uncharted and more discussion about his work on Venom, is available now on all major podcast platforms and on YouTube. Uncharted opens in theaters on Friday.