Venom: Let There Be Carnage - Everything You Need to Know
Sony's plan for movies related to Spider-Man is one of the most interesting and entertaining pocket universes in movies today. While Marvel Studios develops and produces the core Spider-Man films, the most recent being SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, Sony is creating a set of movies spun off from Spidey stories, featuring a diverse set of characters.
In 2018, VENOM was the first such release, and SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE followed two months later. Now VENOM 2 is on the way, along with Jared Leto's MORBIUS, and we expect both movies to dramatically expand the world first seen in VENOM. For this sequel, Tom Hardy returns to star as Eddie Brock, a journalist who bonds with a powerful alien creature. Together, they are Venom, and anyone who gets in their way faces a toothy end. Here's everything we know about VENOM 2 — now known as VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE.
The Venom 2 Release Date
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE is set to hit theaters on June 25, 2021. While an October release was a good spot for the dark comedy and intense action of a VENOM movie, we're happy to see this sequel hit right as summer begins to heat up.
Is There a Venom 2 Trailer?
So far there is no trailer for VENOM 2. As is often the case with sequels like this, you can find fan-made trailers on YouTube, but none contain any new footage from the actual movie. The first VENOM teaser appeared in February 2018, with more footage shown off at Cinemacon later that year. We're hoping something similar happens for VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE!
Where Did We Leave Off?
In VENOM, newspaper reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) joined forces with an alien symbiote. This creature called itself Venom and looked sort of like Spider-Man. (In VENOM, there was no mention of Peter Parker or anything directly related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.) By the end of the movie (spoiler!), Eddie and his symbiotic suit had reached an understanding and worked together to vanquish evil tech guy Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), who had taken on the personality of an even-nastier alien villain named Riot. Briefly, Eddie's ex-fiancee (Michelle Williams) also bonded with the symbiote to become her own version of Venom.
In a mid-credits sequence, Woody Harrelson showed up as the jailed criminal Cletus Kasady. Comic book readers instantly recognized him for his connection to a famous VENOM villain. More on that in a minute. Oh, and, at one point, Eddie Brock (in human form) jumped into an aquarium at a seafood restaurant and started eating whole lobsters. That's not an important plot point; it's just insane and fantastic.
Changing of the Guard
VENOM was enough of a success to instantly put a sequel in motion, but a few things have changed behind the scenes of VENOM 2. While most of the cast members (chiefly Hardy, Williams, and Harrelson) are set to return, original director Ruben Fleischer was busy with ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP. So the VENOM 2 director is motion-capture pioneer Andy Serkis, seen just above in BLACK PANTHER.
Screenwriter Kelly Marcel authored the new script on her own; for the original movie, she worked off a draft by Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. And while cinematographer Matthew Libatique gave the original film a killer look, he wasn't available for the sequel. Not to worry, however! Quentin Tarantino's regular partner, Robert Richardson, is the cinematographer for the new movie. With all of these amazingly talented folks taking over the reins for VENOM 2, we expect a unique experience.
VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE was shot before the Coronavirus caused many productions to be shut down, but, as he told the AP in May, Andy Serkis did have to oversee post-production remotely. Will that affect the movie, and if so, how? We don't know!
The character introduced in the closing moments of the first film, Cletus Kasady (Harrelson), is, in the comics, a serial killer. He merges with his own symbiote to become Carnage, one of the all-time Spider-Man and Venom villains. Therefore, we fully expect to see a movie incarnation of Carnage in VENOM 2.
Additionally, Naomie Harris (from SKYFALL and the upcoming NO TIME TO DIE) has been added to the cast, playing Shriek. She's another alien super-villain who, in comics, is also a partner to Carnage. All of which is to say that Venom will have his hands, er, claws full this time around. We can't wait to see how these new characters are brought to life. Since director Andy Serkis has massive experience with performance capture thanks to his roles in the LORD OF THE RINGS and PLANET OF THE APES movies, this sequel should feature some lively performances. Things are going to get scary.
The unique dynamic between Tom Hardy and, well, Tom Hardy, playing both Eddie Brock and his alien possessor, was a huge part of the reason that audiences responded to VENOM in the first place. The only problem was that we didn't get as much interaction between Eddie and Venom as we might have wanted — the movie had to set up their union in the first place, after all.
When it comes to the VENOM sequel, however, don't worry! Producer Matt Tolmach told Cinemablend that he and the filmmakers know that everyone wants more of the bizarre odd-couple action between the two characters. "[Fans] love that relationship," he said. "What people say all the time is the relationship between Eddie and Venom is… I just want to spend more time with those guys. And that's such a testament to Tom Hardy, who obviously played both parts. … It's the thing you want to hear when you launch a franchise is that what works is the heart of the movie. And the heart of Venom was always the relationship between Eddie and Venom. These two characters, these two sides that had to figure out how to live together and that were somehow better together than they were separately, or more successful, and what that meant."
Is There a Spider-Man Connection?
Not yet! Yes, Venom originated as a Spider-Man villain back in 1988, but as with the new movie MORBIUS, we don't expect to see Spider-Man in this film. But since MORBIUS features at least a reference to the wall-crawler (see the image above, from the first MORBIUS trailer), perhaps the VENOM universe and Spider-Man's world aren't quite separate entities. Still, Peter Parker will presumably not show up in VENOM 2. We don't know if any reference to the events of the MCU or Spider-Man films will be made.
We do wonder if the $1 billion success of JOKER, which was released in the same lucrative pre-Halloween October corridor as the original VENOM, might lead to an R rating for this movie. That would separate VENOM 2 even further from the MCU Spider-verse by going in a more adult direction. We won't presume to know what Sony is planning, but given the roster of likely villains, VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE would make for a great R-rated movie. Then, instead of merely alluding to the character eating people, we might actually see it. Whatever happens, we're excited to see how this sequel expands the dark comedy and hard-hitting action of the original movie.
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All images courtesy of Sony Pictures, unless otherwise indicated.