Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now out in theaters after having switched release dates more than once. The film is getting mixed reviews, but at least the important part, Venom and Carnage’s showdown, is great.
Cletus Kasady fighting Eddie Brock was certainly something to witness, as the two Symbiotes clashed in a far more visually pleasing way than Venom’s sloppy Riot fight.
Coming out of the movie, however, there’s something that will all but certainly overshadow any talk about the pre-criedts portion of the actual movie: Venom is now officially in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After the credits roll, fans are treated to a visual of Eddie and Venom both watching a soap opera on television. They start to discuss when the topic of having an insane secret comes up.
Venom mysteriously adds “we all have a past, Eddie,” to which Eddie tepidly responds, asking if “[he’s] hiding stuff from [him].”
This is when the symbiote goes and drops a bombshell:
“80 billion years of hive knowledge, across universes, would explode your tiny little brain.”
Up until this point, that concept had yet to be introduced or even alluded to in the films. Venom continues on though, giving a tantalizing tease, telling Brock to “let [him] give [Eddie] a taste:”
“Well, let me give you a taste then. Just the smallest fraction of the things we symbiotes have experienced.”
Eddie agrees, and just as Venom says “Ready Eddie?”, right when he seemingly begins his demonstration, things start to go haywire.
A bright yellow light shines from outside, things are phasing in and out, and everything is changing. Seconds later the two find themselves in an entirely different hotel room.
Just as Venom declares that “it wasn’t [him],” attention is drawn to the television: J. Jonah Jameson is on television, with his Daily Bugle show, reporting on Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, and how he’s the masked vigilante Spider-Man.
Silently, and fairly quickly, this draws the attention of Venom. He moves up to the screen, acknowledges Spider-Man as “this guy…,” and then licks the screen showing Parker’s face.
Venom is in the MCU, and Spider-Man is his next stop.
Does Venom Know of Spider-Man?
Upon closer examination of the scene, it certainly seems like Venom, the symbiote, knows of Spider-Man. Maybe not Tom Holland’s specific Spider-Man, but of one somewhere in the Multiverse.
One might immediately think, ‘wait a second, Venom Has never run into Spider-Man. It would’ve been mentioned.’—and all of that is true. But note how, suspiciously, Venom happens to mention “80 billion years of hive knowledge, across universes,” moments before the two are seemingly thrown into the MCU.
So, while yes, this Venom hasn’t run into Spider-Man himself, the scene strongly alludes to the idea that he has knowledge of his existence through some other symbiote in the multiverse.
An example of which symbiote that may be, is Topher Grace’s encounter with the alien parasite Venom in Spider-Man 3. While Topher Grace recently joked about being in Spider-Man: No Way Home, this connection with the symbiote hive mind could be Sony’s way of connecting Grace’s role without having to bring back the highly despised version of the character.
Of course, the knowledge could always simply come from one of the many multiverses offscreen; of Venom and Spider-Man interactions that have never made it into any film or television series.
It will be an interesting concept to explore. With Venom potentially having some knowledge of the webslinger, their dynamic becomes dramatically more exciting. Prior to the after-credits scene, it was hard to imagine how the two would work on screen together.
For one, they didn’t share any experience or knowledge of each other, which immediately erases most of what makes their dynamic in the comics amazing. But now, Sony is trying to use the multiverse to inject a little more into the character.
Eddie and Venom, on face value, as Venom: Let There Be Carnage finished, would have no reason to go against Spider-Man. Besides the fact that eating criminals' heads may be a downer for Parker, Eddie and Venom’s intentions look to be leaning more towards being a hero, though becoming an anti-hero is the likely outcome.
However, if that hivemind knowledge does hold information about Peter Parker (and somehow makes it all personal for the symbiote which audiences have been following), then it all might just work. Maybe.
The Sinister Six Gets Venomous?
So what’s the next logical step? The obvious answer is Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film is already confirmed to bring in past Spider-Man villains from alternate universes—just look at Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock for proof.
The inciting incident is likely one of the trailer’s biggest moments: Doctor Strange casting a spell to make the world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Clearly, things go wrong, and there are blinding lights and weird magic flashes—sound familiar?
This moment is likely what audiences saw when Tom Hardy’s Eddie and Venom are shifting between universes. The bigger question is why them?
As previously theorized, all the villains have deep connections to Peter Parker and Spider-Man. So when the spell was cast, it was focusing on Parker’s identity as the wallcrawling hero—then it went south, and in doing so, seemingly yanked people connected to the identity the spell was trying to erase.
But, Eddie and Venom don’t have the same connection that villains like Green Goblin, Doc Ock, or Electro have. However, as mentioned above, the flashing lights and everything happened for Hardy’s Venom the moment he went to tap into his hivemind knowledge—the very same one that spans universes and likely has connections to Peter Parker.
This chain of events would add Venom to the massive list of villains set to appear in the film. In the first trailer alone, Doc Ock is front and center, Lizard can be seen In the shadows, and there are overt hints to Green Goblin, Electro, and Sandman. That’s five villains—which would make Venom the sixth, if he were to join the rest of these criminals; something which wouldn’t make much sense given the character development of the Eddie and Venom that killed Carnage.
Of course, that theoretical roster, for the hypothetical Sinister Six, is very much in flux for one key reason: Spider-Man: No Way Home is one huge mystery, and not everything is known about them.
Other villains who could take that sixth place besides Venom are the likes of The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Rhino, or the MCU’s Vulture and/or Mysterio. The simple fact is that no one knows.
Seeing as there haven’t been many rumors to suggest that Tom Hardy’s Venom is set to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, there is another potential outcome: what if he isn’t in it at all?
What if… Eddie and Venom aren’t dealt with until sometime after Spider-Man: Far From Home? They’d likely be saved for Venom 3 or another Sony-run project which would place the focus solely on Spider-Man’s first encounter with Tom Hardy’s symbiote.
Now would this be Spider-Man 4, or Venom 3? It could go either way, but don’t be surprised if Sony decides to do it all themselves and keep it all within the Venom franchise.
What would this movie look like? Obviously, the main draw would be the confrontation between Venom and Spider-Man, with the conflict likely riding on something personal within that hivemind knowledge of the symbiote.
There will probably be some big fan-driven moments, such as the symbiote attaching itself to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, giving him his symbiote suit—which would be amazing. Story-wise, however, in this hypothetical situation that has been cooked up, that would likely only be for a moment or a scene.
It would have to get back to Venom sooner rather than later. How else would Tom Hardy’s Venom get that Spidey logo people have been clamoring for since the idea of a Venom film was conceived?
At the end of the day, the whole film will likely be broken down to both Spider-Man and Venom teaming up to fight a bigger evil. A trope for sure, but after all, this is Sony Pictures.
Say, remember that Carnage symbiote Venom ate? Well, what does eating a symbiote actually do? Seems like something it could easily get out of. There’s no bigger moneymaker for Sony than a final act of Spider-Man and Venom fighting a souped-up Carnage—one who would have tracked down a better match; maybe even the MCU’s Cletus Kasady.
There is a different route they could take if Sony didn’t want to re-do Carnage (but please do): Toxin. Toxin is the son of both Venom and Carnage, and with that crimson symbiote inside of Eddie’s internal friend, situations could easily occur which would result in the birth of a new symbiote.
In the comics, Toxin is attached to a man named Peter Milligan, a name that readers might recognize because Stephen Graham played him: the detective whom Shriek nearly deafened.
There’s an obvious problem though: Milligan is still in the Sonyverse, or the SSU, marinating in his completely nonsensical set-up for the future. So, if Toxin is adapted while Venom is in the MCU, the creatives involved would very likely end up doing an entirely original take—or simply stealing a different universe's Milligan.
Odds are, the Carnage route may be the fan's choice; so take note, Sony.
What About His Home-Verse
Finally, there is the big question: when, or will, Venom go home? Or is he to be an MCU mainstay? There are a lot of pieces at play on the board that makes these particular questions hard to pin down.
For one, Venom Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis has been pretty vocal recently about how Eddie will meet Spider-Man one day; and how there are a lot of other villains in Ravencroft for the symbiote to go up against. All of that was likely a poorly veiled attempt at hiding the after-credits scene reveal, but there still seems to be passion behind Serkis’ exploration of further villains.
Then there’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has dozens of rumors pointing to the return of past Spider-Men; could these returning faces be given a permanent home in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe—after all, it is kinda strange to have Spider-Man in the name, but not a wallcrawler in sight.
If the SSU gets its own Spider-Man, it would be common sense to bring Tom Hardy’s Venom home. There are other foils for the character which will already be in play, such as Jared Leto’s Morbius, or Aaron Taylor Johnson’s Kraven the Hunter.
With everything Sony has built, it is a little hard to believe that they would just throw Venom into the MCU and leave him there. It’s very likely Eddie’s multiversal trip is just a little excursion—which is ironic given where he arrived.
Aside from the characters in Sony‘s other films, the obvious answer to who would terrorize Eddie and Venom when they get back is more Symbiotes; it’s kinda their thing. They still have Toxin, Anti-Venom, Scream, Lasher, etc.
There are some other villains who are human, such as The Jury (think Spider-Slayers), Sin-Eater (a serial killer), and Jack O’ Lantern—all of whom don’t make much of a splash.
There is always Knull, the God of all Symbiotes—but that's the big leagues to the extreme. It’s hard to see Sony getting there anytime soon. The scale of his villainy is far better suited for the MCU; If only they had their own Venom.
If Sony wants non-symbiotic villains for their star symbiote, then they might just have to settle for crossovers within their own films. Don’t be surprised if, in five years, their marquee film is Kraven hunting Venom.