Folks, we live in interesting times. We just received a trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the sequel to the surprise 2018 hit Venom, starring Tom Hardy, Tom Hardy, and a whole lot of people who weren’t trying nearly as hard as Tom Hardy. This sequel brings in Woody Harrelson as Broadway star Carnage about 30 years after his comic book debut.
Seriously, though. Carnage appeared in a Broadway musical ten years before he got to be in the movies. I’ll never get over that.
If you haven’t watched the crazy trailer yet, press pause on your Green Jelly CD and check this out.
What can we gather from this trailer?
THE RETURN OF THE BROMANCE
The Venom symbiote has become more acclimated to life on Earth, going so far as learning at least a little Chinese and getting into cooking. If that’s what you call it. Eddie Brock simply has to endure it best he can.
Fun fact: the 2004 comic book miniseries Venom vs. Carnage (by Peter Milligan and Clayton Crain) was the first time anyone’s played with the fun concept of a symbiote and its host acting like an old married couple. In that comic, a delightful scene had Cletus Kasady ironing his shirt while having a lovers’ spat with his symbiote.
Also, while Venom’s love for chocolate was hinted at at the end of the first movie, the two-in-one vigilante is more adamant about it this time around. During the character’s ’90s antihero run, it was explained that there’s a chemical in both chocolate and brain matter that the symbiote needs to thrive. Eating chocolate keeps Venom from wanting to eat brains.
Anyway, chipper Venom gives me life.
CARNAGE IS HERE
Continuing from where the last movie left off, Cletus Kasady is locked up and will only confide in Eddie Brock. While we’re left wondering how we get from point A to point B with Cletus becoming a symbiote host, we at least dive straight into the big hero/villain cliché about how similar they are.
Director Andy Serkis goes into more detail on this with some trailer commentary: “They both had strange upbringings with strange relationships with their parents and their families. And there’s an inherent loneliness that they both recognize in each other. Cletus actually reaches out and will only speak to Eddie Brock. That’s at the beginning of the story, we learned that he’s the only one he’ll speak to. And the cops, therefore, want Eddie to go in and investigate and try and discover where some of the bodies, some of the many bodies of Cletus’s victims are.”
I miss his Sideshow Bob wig.
SHRIEK HAS ARRIVED
Naomie Harris is shown as an inmate at Ravencroft, an asylum regularly used in Marvel Comics. She appears to be portraying Frances Barrison, otherwise known as Shriek.
Introduced in the Maximum Carnage story, Shriek was created to be a love interest for Carnage. The Mallory to his Mickey, if you will. In the comics, she’s a mutant with powers allowing her to fly, shoot sonic blasts, and darken people’s personalities.
The abusive couple have teamed up various times, most notably in Maximum Carnage where they were joined by the Spider Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion. The former (a six-armed monster version of Spider-Man) is the only one of the three with any real staying power, usually being treated by Shriek as either her child or her dog.
ANNE WEYING IS STILL AROUND
Michelle Williams returns as Anne Weying, Eddie’s former fiancée. The last movie ended with Venom (and Stan Lee) insisting Eddie would win her back. She’s last been seen with a supportive and successful boyfriend and Eddie’s personal life is still kind of a mess. It will take a lot to get Anne to go back to Eddie the way things are.
Besides, she probably wouldn’t enjoy finding out that he lied to her about Venom’s survival. Screwing with her trust is what got Eddie into this mess in the first place.
Patrick Mulligan. Now that’s a deep cut. Remember earlier when I was talking about the miniseries Venom vs. Carnage? Said story was about introducing Toxin, the spawn of Carnage. Officer Mulligan became the host for the newly-born creature. With that origin story and a six-issue miniseries from the mid-00s, Mulligan tried to train his symbiote, which meant well, but was violent and naïve about how the world works.
Really, the Toxin miniseries is the blueprint for Eddie and Venom’s cinematic relationship. Too bad Mulligan was presumably killed off-panel so they could move the Toxin symbiote onto different hosts, including Eddie himself for a time.
Now that I think about it, the closest thing Toxin had to an arch-nemesis was Razor Fist. The same Razor Fist that will show up in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. See? Now their war lives on on another battlefield.
THE DAILY BUGLE AND…THE AVENGERS?
We have another article discussing how this brief moment in the trailer decides whether or not the Venom movies take place in the MCU. After all, this shot of Mulligan reading The Daily Bugle shows it as a newspaper, which doesn’t really line up with how it’s portrayed in the MCU.
There is an interesting wrinkle in this, though. When Mulligan angrily crushes the newspaper, there’s a very, very brief look at a headline from inside the paper. The two words visible seem to say “AVENGERS” and “NIGHTMARE.” Possibly “AVENGERS LEVEL NIGHTMARE.”
This could be nothing more than an Easter egg, but considering Morbius is supposed to take place in the MCU due to Vulture showing up in the trailer and Morbius is apparently part of the “Venomverse,” I guess we can just say that the Venom movies aren’t part of the MCU…until they are.
Speaking of Easter eggs, notice the wanted poster for E. Larson. Erik Larsen is the comic artist credited for giving Venom the gnarly face of fangs with gross tongue.
There’s one shot where Venom’s carrying something and…it looks like it’s a katana? What in the hell?
I mean, I’m absolutely for it, but it’s not like Venom’s really known for going all Samurai Jack (he’s more Aku, really). This is like when Juggernaut had a bazooka in that Konami X-Men arcade game. He really didn’t need it, but we’re better for it!