The debut trailer for much-anticipated superhero spin-off Venom has been released online, offering comic book fans their first look at Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock – but unfortunately not as his titular alter-ego.

Venom is the combination of Brock and an alien symbiote that becomes his living suit. Originally conceived in the comics as an antagonist Spider-Man, the character became more of an anti-hero at the height of his 1990s popularity.

The trailer is set to a monologue from Hardy's character. "Everyone's got their thing," he says. "Maybe it's a break-up, a death, an accident.

"Whatever it is, you used to be one thing, and now you're something else. We all have our own problems. Our own issues. Our own... demons."

We see glimpses of the film's action sequences, and a brief glimpse at some alien matter held in containers in front of Riz Ahmed's unnamed character. There's also a brief glimpse at Michelle Williams, who plays Anne Weying, a lawyer and Brock's ex-wife.

The impressive cast also includes Woody Harrelson and Jenny Slate.

At Sao Paulo's Comic Con last year, Hardy revealed that the film is based on two popular comic book runs – Lethal Protector and Planet of the Symbiotes – which cast Venom as the protagonist.

Given Hardy's New Yorker accent and the sight of San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge, it seems the film will follow Brock as he crosses from the east to west coast. There he will get tied up with the Life Foundation (as discerned from a still from the film).

In the comics, the Life Foundation is responsible for using the Venom symbiote to create five spawns: Agony, Phage, Scream, Riot and Lasher. This could also be a way of introducing Carnage, another beloved villain.

Fans will be disappointed that the trailer includes no glimpse at Venom in his full glory, but with months of post-production ahead, it's likely that visual effects shots haven't been completed. It's better to hold off on such a reveal than release an early unfinished tease.

Venom has been directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, Gangster Squad) from the script by Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner and Kelly Marcel. The film is set to be released on 5 October.

Venom movie
Venom's eyes on the poster for the new film. Sony Pictures