'Venom' Cast and Director Settle the Debate on How to Pronounce "Symbiote"

When the first trailer of Sony's Venom debuted months back, it cast the fandom of the web-slinging enemy of Spider-Man into a state of pandemonium. Why, you ask? Jenny Slate's character pronunciation of the word "symbiote."

Slate's character kept pronouncing the alien parasite as sim-BYE-ote, instead of the widely-use sim-BEE-ote alternative. As Venom cast members Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed joined director Ruben Fleischer for a Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the trio seemingly put the debate to rest.

"Yeah for sure, it's sim-bee-ote," Fleischer told Entertainment Weekly. "That's been confirmed."

Then the director threw in another curveball, joking that it could also be pronounced as sim-bee-ut. Ahmed and Hardy then agreed that it might come down to English variations between American and British culture.

"I think it's an America/British thing," Ahmed said. "Because it can be like symbiosis..."

Ahmed then suggested the EW host a poll in the comments section. Fleischer wrapped up the questioning with another popular phrase.

"You say poh-tay-to, I say poh-tah-to," Fleischer mentioned. "I think sim-bee-ote is the preferred pronunciation."

Earlier in the year, Fleischer mentioned that Venom will be much more of a horror story than the superhero genre has ever seen before.

"We talked a lot about a werewolf and what it is when you get infected or bit by a werewolf," Fleischer shared. Usually a human gets imbued with powers or an alien comes from outer space and has to figure out how to live on our Earth."

"But this is really about a relationship between two people who have to work together to create this hybrid symbiotic relationship."

"There's a tragic clown element, which I find funny and is harmonious with some of the work that I like to do," Hardy shared of the character. "There's something funny about the circumstances of having a gift but it's a tragic gift. It's a superpower you don't really want, but at the same time, you love it. It makes you feel special. He's a reluctant hero and an anti-hero."


What side of the debate are you on? Are you Team Sym-BEE-ote or Team Sym-BYEoute? Let us know your preferred way to say it in the comments below!

Venom will be released in theaters on October 5th.