Nice work, Internet. It seems mocking a certain aspect of “Venom” actually got it fixed.
In both the film and the comics on which it is based, “Venom” is actually two characters in one. The person under the gooey black costume is Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), an investigative reporter who’s a bit of a screw-up. But the gooey black costume is also a character — an alien creature called a “symbiote” that bonds with Eddie and turns him super.
The word “symbiote” is a Marvel Comics invention, riffing off the scientific term “symbiosis,” in which two creatures have a mutually beneficial relationship. Despite it being a made-up term, there’s apparently a right way to pronounce the word “symbiote,” and in the first trailer released for “Venom,” actor Jenny Slate’s character Dr. Dora Skirth was unlucky enough to say it wrong.
In the trailer, when Skirth explains the situation about the symbiotes to Eddie — her company, the Life Foundation, has captured several of alien creatures and her boss, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), is trying to bond them with various test subjects against their will — she pronounces the word “sim-BYE-oat.” In the released film, though, Skirth, Drake and anyone else who happens to use the word pronounces it correctly (according to Marvel): “sim-BEE-oat.”
Apparently, all that clowning about the way Slate said a made-up word caught some attention over at Sony. The properly pronounced “symbiote” seems to be the only major change from the trailers, though. The much-discussed moment in which Venom threatens to bite off the arms, legs and head of a man trying to rob a convenience store — leaving him rolling down the road “like a turd in the wind” — is still in the movie. It’s a pretty perfect encapsulation of the silly, dark comedy that makes “Venom” a lot of fun.
In fact, looked at from a comedic standpoint, maybe Sony should have left in all those mispronunciations of “symbiote,” just to goof on fans.