Investigative reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) presses billionaire industrialist Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) in the first clip from Sony Pictures' upcoming Venom.
"I have always believed that space exploration is crucial in our quest to cure everything that ails us here on Earth," says Drake, who Ahmed characterized as a genius-level inventor and head of the shady Life Foundation.
Brock, digging into accusations the shadowy corporation tests pharmaceuticals on the "vulnerable" that "more often than not end up killing people," is subsequently removed from the building for putting Drake in the hotseat.
"We're not finished," Brock says, being pushed towards the door.
"Yes you are, Mr. Brock," Drake says ominously. Asked if that's a threat, Drake says only, "Have a nice life."
Drake just so happens to be the boss of Brock's girlfriend, Anne (Michelle Williams), who Brock deems an "evil person." The two will clash when the nosy reporter finds himself melded with an inky black alien substance known as a symbiote, transforming him into the half-man, half-creature known as Venom.
Drake, who is "really interested in trying to find a future for humanity as we face ecological collapse and war," Ahmed said, will turn full-blown super villain when he bonds with his own grey-colored symbiote, emerging as Riot.
"For him, the solution lies in colonizing other planets," Ahmed told EW. "So it's actually a kind of search for another suitable habitat for humanity, that leads him to the symbiotes."
Ahmed said the film, which blurs the line between hero and villain — chiefly with lead anti-hero Brock — presents Drake as a man doing wrong for the right reasons.
"No one thinks that they are the bad guy, that's the reality," he said.
"People do crazy things, terrible things, but in their mind they justify it. They think that they're helping the world, helping the other person, helping themselves, they justify it in their own ways."
Ahmed said he "totally understand[s]" why Drake does what he does. "He's trying to serve humanity and he just thinks that he's best placed to do that and he wants to find a future for the human race," he explained.
"And of course, as the most rich, powerful, successful, intelligent member of the human race, he should be at the center of that future as well. So, I think I'm playing the good guy, but that's sort of what everyone thinks."
Venom opens October 5.