While exploring space for new habitable worlds, a probe belonging to bioengineering corporation Life Foundation discovers a comet covered in symbiotic lifeforms. They bring four samples back to Earth, but one escapes and causes the ship to crash in Malaysia. The Life Foundation re- covers the other three and transports them to their research facility in San Francisco, where CEO Carlton Drake learns that the symbiotes cannot survive without oxygen-breathing hosts, which often reject the symbiosis. Investigative journalist Eddie Brock reads about Drake's human trials in a classified document in the possession of his fiancée Anne Weying, an attorney involved in preparing a lawsuit defense for Life Foundation. Brock confronts Drake, leading to both Brock and Weying losing their jobs. Weying ends their relationship.
Six months later, Drake is get- ting closer to achieving successful symbiosis. Brock is approached by Dora Skirth, one of Drake's scientists who disagrees with his methods and wants to help Brock expose him. She helps Brock break into the research facility to search for evidence, and he learns that an acquaintance of his, a homeless woman named Maria, has become one of Drake's test subjects. Brock attempts to rescue Maria, but she attacks him and the symbiote possessing her transfers from her body to his, leaving her dead.