2018’s Venom film was a surprise hit for the Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures collaboration. However, it also received a good deal of criticism for having a weak storyline, uneven pacing, and having too many shots with improper lighting, making some key scenes hard to view.
Still, the Venom film showed a lot of potential that could be developed through sequels, especially with the mid-credits scene that hinted at Woody Harrelson’s role as Cletus Kasady, also known as Venom’s offspring and arch-nemesis, Carnage. With the release of the sequel’s trailer, it appears this potential is going to be fully explored.
What are the new details revealed in the Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer? We take a look at the major ones, so read on to find out more!
Eddie Brock and Venom: A Love Story
We get an update on the life of Eddie Brock after the events of the first Venom film. The first thing one would notice is that the setting is back to San Francisco. This is a surprise, as there were expectations that Eddie would be moving East to New York to have closer ties to the Spider-Man mythos. But given that the connection with the Spider-Verse or the MCU with the Venom films are still unconfirmed, this does provide freedom to tell the story without being bogged down by explaining how it all fits.
According to director Andy Serkis, the new Venom film will occur around a year and a half after the previous movie. Eddie has come to terms with his current situation and is living with the Venom symbiote and making the best out of it. The scenes that have Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock going about his morning routine as the Venom symbiote prepares breakfast for him is played for laughs. Mainly, this comes from the fact that the symbiote has a childlike speech pattern and a lack of understanding of simple things, including what counts as a healthy breakfast. Still, it does indicate that there is now a level of trust and understanding between the two.
In fact, the entire scene and dialogue would not be out of place in a romantic comedy. In a way, Eddie and the Venom symbiote are like two best buddies as roommates, or even a romantic couple with their endearment mixed with their banter. Although it is a bizarre setup, you can empathize with Brock and there is a dark humor prevalent with the proceedings.
Enter Cletus Kasady
The next scenes reveal that Eddie is looking into the case of Cletus Kasady. A psychopathic serial killer, Kasady is currently incarcerated and set for execution, although it is not clear what Kasady’s crimes are for this version of the character or why Eddie Brock is investigating the criminal’s case history.
What is clear, oddly enough, is that Cletus Kasady is obsessed with Brock. Based on Harrelson’s dialogue in the trailer, Kasady feels a connection, even a kinship with Brock. Kasady appears to be less bombastic with his words and depiction compared to the mid-credits scene depiction, oddly enough. But to hammer home the point that Kasady is a lunatic, scenes are shown of his depraved holding cell, full of engravings with gibberish and ravings written on the concrete walls.
Despite the rather lighthearted look at the life of the odd couple, this is still a superhero movie. We are soon treated to Eddie in full Venom form. There are still some bad lighting involved when Venom is being shown, but seems to be a little less than the previous film. You can actually see the details on Venom’s costumed form, including the muscle definition and the veins on the surface of the symbiote.
More importantly, we learn Brock and the symbiote have an informal protection set up with Mrs. Chen and her store. Peggy Lu’s Mrs. Chen even has a few sarcastic words aimed at the symbiote itself. A shot of Venom fighting thugs in a back alley adds to the credence that the duo are acting as the muscle defending the neighborhood.
This aspect of Venom is consistent with their time as the so-called Lethal Protector. In the comics, Venom had a miniseries exploring this very theme. Although some of the elements were incorporated in the first film, this sequel will apparently fully flesh out Venom’s antihero status and how Eddie and the symbiote are building relationships in their neighborhood. It does appear that Venom is not doing this for free, as a later scene with Mrs. Chen mentions a deal, with food being one of the compensations the two are receiving for their protection services.
Children of Venom
The trailer later reveals that there will be more potential hosts and symbiotes drawn from the comics. Aside from Cletus Kasady and his eventual turn as Carnage, at least two other characters who may or may not get possessed by symbiotes are introduced.
First is Frances Barrison (played by actress Naomie Harris). In the comics, Barrison was the super-villain Shriek. She already had super powers from being a mutant and further enhanced after an encounter with Cloak and Dagger. It should also be noted that Barrison had a deranged affair with Kasady in the comic books. The trailer does not indicate whether this romantic entanglement or her mutant powers will be present, but it does reveal that Kasady and Barrison are locked up in the same facility. What might be a possibility is Barrison will be another host and instead be grafted to the Scream symbiote.
The second potential symbiote host is Patrick Mulligan. True to the source, Mulligan (Stephen Graham) is depicted as a member of the police force in this film. Brock is apparently questioning Mulligan and looking for information about Kasady. In the comic books, Mulligan becomes the host of a new symbiote birthed by the Carnage symbiote. Calling himself Toxin, Mulligan possessed even greater strength and power than Venom or Carnage. But unlike Carnage, Toxin becomes a reluctant hero, though he struggles for control with the symbote’s will.
Despite these, the only confirmed symbiote host in the trailer beyond Eddie Brock is Kasady. What is clear is how Kasady becomes infected. The scene which depicts his execution through lethal injection reveals this as the point the Carnage symbiote attaches itself to Kasady, helping him break free and go on to create, well, actual carnage on the streets.
Into the Spider-Verse?
There are subtle hints of how Venom: Let There Be Carnage will connect to the Spider-Man mythology (as far as this universe is concerned). In one scene with Mulligan, we see the officer reading through a copy of the Daily Bugle Newspaper. Based on the masthead design, the newspaper bears a strong resemblance to the version in the Sam Raimi films with Tobey Maguire. But if that is the case, this contradicts the Venom version in 2007’s Spider-Man 3 which was portrayed by Topher Grace.
There is also a more subtle hint to the connection with the Spider-Man mthos with the introduction of Ravencroft. In the comic books and other media, Ravencroft serves as a special facility for keeping and studying superhuman criminals that are particularly connected to Spider-Man’s activities. In this role, it is very similar to Batman’s Arkham Asylum. Aside from Carnage and Shriek, could there be other special criminals in Ravencroft that will be revealed?
To Be Continued
If the first Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer is any indication, the new film will be addressing the feedback from fans who watched the 2018 film. Will it have a definite connection with the Tom Holland version of Spider-Man or be its own continuity? Or perhaps it will tie in to Jared Leto’s Morbius film?
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) April 21, 2020
Venom: Let There Be Carnage stars Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Stephen Graham, Peggy Lu, and Reid Scott. Directed by Andy Serkis and produced by Columbia Pictures, Marvel Entertainment, and Tencent Pictures, the film releases on September 24, 2021.