For a film that now holds the crown for the biggest October opening of all time, reviewers and film critics have torn Venom to pieces almost as brutally and mercilessly as a symbiote devouring a helpless kitten – it’s stuck with a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Seems not to matter too much; Venom oozed $80 million out of its opening weekend, and has so far racked up $225 million worldwide. Since the production itself cost $100 million it’s likely we’re going to be getting a sequel. And that means we need to talk about that mid-credits scene.
True to its roots, you can’t have a Marvel movie (even if it’s only ‘in collaboration’ with Marvel) without some neat twist after the credits start rolling. If you’re a fan of Marvel comics you probably won’t be surprised to hear that that twist is hinting at Carnage, another symbiote that’s considered the offspring of Venom.
Eddie Brock heads to San Quentin prison in San Francisco to conduct an interview with Cletus Kasady (Carnage) and if you haven’t heard who’s playing the part you’re in for a bit of a surpise: It’s Woody Harrelson. While on paper this might sound like a good choice given the usual manic, unhinged persona Harrelson can put on it just … falls flat.
“Eddie Brock goes to prison to interview him and Woody’s there and he has a really dumb-looking wig on,” says MCU Cosmic’s Jeremy Conrad. “He kinda looks like Pennywise without the clown makeup. Brock goes in to interview Cletus, and he says ‘Do you want to know what me being a serial killer is like? Do you want to know … the Carnage?’”
Yeah, that’s pretty dumb.
It’s a shame, too, because Carnage is definitely one of the cooler Spider-Man villains in concept, character, and appearance. The parasite ‘child’ of Venom, Carnage is created when Eddie Brock is in prison and Kasady is his cellmate. After Venom escapes, the Carnage symbiote is bonded with Kasady and the resulting character is a more savage, less noble (albeit slightly weaker) version of Venom. An enemy to both Venom and Spider-Man, Carnage sets up a crucial member of the symbiote family as well as a much-needed foil to Brock’s more noble anti-hero character.
What does this mean for a sequel?
Considering that Venom focused very heavily on the symbiote’s control over Eddie Brock and his oddly noble attitude towards being “the good guy” that only eats “the bad guys” we’re already seeing a Venom that’s several shades lighter than comic book canon – and certainly a different (though welcome) step away from the symbiote we saw in Spider-Man 3.
What that means for the sequel is that we’ll likely be seeing a scenario in which we get to witness the contrast between Brock’s relationship with the symbiote and Kasady’s. Kasady’s mention of ‘carnage’ in Venom could be as simple as a tongue-in-cheek hint for audiences familiar with the character, or it could mean that he’s already in control of the symbiote and is just waiting for the opportunity to strike hardest.
It’s a little tough to swallow, given that Carnage is supposed to be a loose cannon (man, we really hope the next one is rated R), so our bet is that it’s just a cheesy throwaway and we’ll get to see the suit bond with Kasady in the next film.
Either way, we’re cautiously optimistic to see Harrelson take on the role of Carnage in Venom 2, and are excited to see him join the roster of Marvel characters (though it’s still odd that Sony’s involved). We hope to see him wreak havoc and throw a wrench in Brock’s newly-managed life with a symbiote. Heck, maybe we’ll even get to see Spidey thrown into the mix. We’re happy either way, but please please get rid of that stupid red wig.