Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Kirk and Spock, Hobbs and Shaw – the history of cinema is awash with iconic bicker-filled bromances, but few are as biologically ‘intimate’ as the relationship between Marvel’s Eddie Brock and ravenous alien symbiote Venom.
But as this sequel to 2018’s crowd-pleasing origin-story Venom kicks off, journalist Brock has a new relationship to worry about. Deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady is under lock and key, but his unhealthy interest in Brock is going to result in absolute carnage in more ways than one. From Venom: Let There Be Carnage release date, trailer and cast to origins, plot and theories, here’s everything you need to know about Venom 2.
Venom is a Marvel Comics character who’s had a long and complex association with Spider-Man. Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 in 1984, Venom was, is and forever shall be a parasitic alien symbiote, stranded on Earth and forced to bond with a human host in order to survive. Venom likes eating people (downside) but gives any host he infects incredible protective powers (upside!) cloaking them with a fanged and ferocious living suit when required but hiding away in the host’s body when the coast is clear.
Venom’s very first host was none other than Peter Parker who, initially, loved his new organic suit. That was until Parker realised Venom had starkly different ideas about the value (and deliciousness) of human life. Parker eventually separated from Venom but, to this day, the symbiote retains an appearance that can be best described as Nightmare Spider-Man.
Over the decades, Venom has bonded with several humans, but his longest fleshy tenancy has been with San Francisco journalist, Eddie Brock. Initially, Brock/Venom was a straight-up antagonistic to Spider-Man but, as time has worn on, the former foes have joined forces to take on an even bigger threat. A threat such as Carnage, the terrifying blend of the alien symbiote and convicted serial killer Cletus Kasady. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
Starring Tom Hardy (Dunkirk) as Eddie Brock, Venom centred on brash, self-centred journalist Brock and his entanglement with the sociopathic genius Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), CEO of the very benign sounding (but clearly not benign) Life Foundation.
It’s one of Drake’s space probes that brings five alien symbiotes to Earth in the first place. Drake sees potential to help humanity evolve with a controllable version of the symbiote, but the alien organism has other ideas and Drake rapidly loses his moral compass and goes full bad.
Meanwhile, Brock, tipped off to Drake’s sudden detour into body-horror human experimentation investigates and gets infected with one of only two surviving symbiotes. Against all odds, Brock survives the process and begins to see the advantages of having Venom’s incredible strength and stamina at hand. But can the murderous Venom be trusted to side with Eddie when it comes to bringing Drake to justice?
A bonus mid-credits scene showed Brock invited onto San Quentin Prison to interview its most infamous inmate, a serial killer by the name of Cletus Kasady. Chillingly, Kasady’s final words to Brock before the credits roll are, “When I get out of here – and I will – there’s going to be carnage.”
Want to know more about Venom?
No. Venom (the character), Spider-Man, and a good number of characters closely associated with everyone’s favourite web-slinger are currently owned by Sony. As such, Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the upcoming Mobius are all Sony/Columbia Pictures films produced In Association With Marvel Studios but are not in the MCU.
A little confusingly, while Sony gets to feature its Marvel heroes and villains in what it calls – deep breath – Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC!), the character of Spider-Man does exist in the MCU after Marvel and Sony came to an agreement.
Could the two cinematic universes combine in the future? Well, Disney bought 20th Century Fox in 2019, opening the way for the X-Men franchise to enter the MCU, so never say never. We’d love to see Spidey and Venom go head to head before forming an uneasy alliance.
Picking up with Venom (Tom Hardy) and his journalist host Brock (also Tom Hardy) 18 months after the events of Venom (2018), the sequel finds the symbiotic odd couple learning to co-exist in Eddie’s body. The apartment is a mess, but at least Venom has largely switched from his people-rich diet to a more sustainable one of M&Ms and Tater Tots.
Brock is getting his journalism career back on track, too, thanks largely to the fact that convicted serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) has taken an unsettling shine to Eddie and will only talk to him about his crimes. It seems Kasady believes the two are kindred spirits, and he may have a point. When a fragment of Venom gets into the serial killer’s bloodstream, a terrifying new symbiotic relationship is forged and Carnage is born.
Directed by Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings trilogy), the undisputed master of motion-capture performances, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in fantastic hands. The trailer is funny, visually spectacular and just the right amount of gruesome. And as for Woody Harrelson’s genuinely creepy performance as Cletus Kasady – we’ve got major Natural Born Killer flashback vibes. All together now, “Miss you… so much.”
Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) is Eddie Brock/Venom
For journalist Eddie Brock nothing gets in the way of pursuing a good story, even if that means getting himself and his fiancée fired and becoming infected with a homicidal alien symbiote. After a rocky start, the symbiote (Venom) and Eddie have come to an understanding: Venom gets free bed and board in Brock’s body, and Eddie gets a virtually indestructible and very powerful living suit.
Woody Harrelson (Zombieland) is Cletus Kasady/Carnage
There’s no telling just how many victims deranged serial killer Cletus Kasady notched up before his capture. He’s on death row now and refuses to reveal where his victims are buried to anyone but Brock. He also likes writing Eddie postcards written in his own blood. It would be very bad if any part of Venom mixed with Kasady’s DNA. Incidentally, director and character actor extraordinaire Andy Serkis shared this fascinating insight with IGN recently on the difference between Carnage and his ‘dad’ Venom:
“Venom is... pretty straightforward in a way. He's like a quarterback. He's very grounded, very physically sort of heavy, and like a quarterback where brute force is very much his thing. Whereas Carnage, in the same way that Cletus is manipulative psychologically and physically, can take your energy and completely shift it for you. So we wanted the whole movement style to be very idiosyncratic and off-kilter and strange, and you just can't pin him down. It would be like trying to have a fight with an octopus basically.”
Naomie Harris (Skyfall) is Frances Barrison/Shriek
Brock isn’t the only pen pal Kasady’s got himself while in prison. Isolated in a sound-proofed cell in Marvel’s notorious Ravenscroft Institute, Frances Barrison aka Shriek has sparked a long-distance relationship with the serial killer. The damaged and dangerous Shriek has a weapons-grade ability to manipulate sound, so the idea of Kasady/Carnage joining forces with her is the stuff of nightmares. And, don’t underestimate Shriek’s ability to unbalance her enemies. Of an impromptu outing mid-shoot, Naomie Harris had this to say to blackgirlnerds.com:
“I went out just the once. I wasn’t generally allowed to go out in the hair and makeup, but once I did try to go to the shop and they wouldn’t actually let me in, because I looked so terrifying. And I was like, ‘yes!’”
Stephen Graham (This is England) is Detective Patrick Mulligan
Patrick Mulligan wants to locate the bodies of Kasady’s victims, but the psychopath won’t talk to the authorities at all, just to Eddie Brock. This creates some serious tension between Mulligan and Brock. FYI, in the comic books, Mulligan eventually became the host to a new Carnage-birthed symbiote called Toxin. Together, Toxin/Mulligan would become a force for good.
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) is Anne Weying
Weying has moved on from her relationship with Brock, but she understands him better than almost anyone and proved to be a crucial ally in Venom (2018), to the point of temporarily hosting Venom in order to rescue her ex. Fun fact: She-Venom/Anne Weying has her own storied career in Marvel comics, and we’d love to see Michelle Williams getting her own film.
Doctor Reid Scott (Veep) is Dan Lewis
As far as boyfriends go, Reid Scott is a much more stable prospect than the bull-headed, impetuous and infected-with-an-alien-symbiote, Eddie Brock. In Venom (2018) Scott helped an ailing Brock out of love for Weying. But, will his goodwill extend into Venom 2?
Peggy Lu (Venom) is Mrs Chen
The actual star of the Venom movies is, of course, the convenience store owner Mrs Chen. She acclimatised to Eddie’s ‘unique personal situation’ surprisingly quickly after he and Venom saved her from robbers in the first film. Both Eddie and Venom like Mrs Chen, although Venom’s affection may be conditional on her continuing to supply the ravenous alien symbiote with chocolate. Let’s hope her supplier doesn’t let her down…
We’ll say it – tied to origin story-duties Venom (2018) did not fully exploit the full potential of the character. And that’s why we’re super excited by Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Allow us to elaborate:
Venom: Let There Be Carnage release date is 15 October, and you can book Venom: Let There Be Carnage tickets right here.
Enjoy cinema for less and access to a host of exciting benefits!
With a myODEON membership you can enjoy a faster, better booking experience, pay less with our Saver ticket, receive exclusive member offers, and so much more.Sign up for free