WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Sony’s Venom, in theaters now.
Director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom introduces multiple alien symbiotes, in addition to its popular title character, that are manipulated by antagonist Carlton Drake in illegal experiments on humans. But when Drake, played with Riz Ahmed, bonds with the evil extraterrestrial Riot, they concoct a scheme of their own: to launch a probe into space to bring back more symbiotes to colonize Earth.
Naturally, they’re stopped in the film’s finale by Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and Venom. But as much as Eddie thinks the threat is over, Venom ends on a note that sets up a couple of potential directions for a sequel, inviting yet more symbiote-filled chaos.
Created by David Michelinie, Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley, Carnage was introduced in 1992 in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man #360 as a more violent symbiote offspring of Venom. When Eddie Brock was imprisoned, Venom returned to bond again with his human host, and helped him to escape. However, in the process, the symbiote left behind an offspring that bonded with Eddie’s cellmate, the serial killer Cletus Kasady, creating Carnage, a sadistic version of Venom.
The film’s mid-credits scene sets the stage for a sequel based on that narrative, introducing Woody Harrelson as Kasady, a serial killer who requests to be interviewed by Eddie, newly returned to his job as a journalist. Kasady warns that when he eventually escapes prison, “it’ll be carnage,” so the sequel can easily follow Eddie as a lethal protector, hunting the murderer, in a way similar to Marvel’s 1993 crossover “Maximum Carnage.”
Venom expresses homicidal tendencies throughout the film, and seeing as the symbiote seeks out a like-minded host, there’s always a chance that part of it still has a taste for blood. Not to mention that Riot merged with Venom, so it could have left behind an imprint. In any case, a close encounter with Eddie could result in Venom inadvertently producing a corrupted offspring to attach itself to Kasady, thus giving birth to Carnage.
Planet of the Symbiotes
Riot is, of course, the primary antagonist of Venom, with an ambition to conquer Earth to ensure the survival of its species, known as the Klyntar. It used Drake for his spaceship, to bring other symbiotes to the planet. Although Riot was ultimately defeated, there’s a clear path for Sony to follow, provided by the 1995 comic book arc “Battle of the Symbiotes,” which served as partial inspiration for Venom.
In that storyline, Venom is rejected by Eddie, and inadvertently summons a spaceship filled with other symbiotes to Earth. Seeing as Riot bonded with Drake in the film, and had access to his technology, namely his satellites, it could have emitted a similar signal across space, drawing its kin to Earth.
Interestingly enough, Marvel’s recent comics added a new twist to the species by introducing the symbiotes’ malevolent god, Knull. He could easily be shaped as the mastermind behind the Klyntar’s arrival on Earth, basically paving the way for Venom to face his master.
Venom did admit in the movie that his race is deadly, and once here, the planet would stand no chance. Apart from the potential to inject a bit of horror with the addition of the ghoulish Knull, this direction also adds an intriguing angle, as it’d deal with the Klyntar now hunting Venom as the traitor who abandoned them and their mission to find a new home.
In theaters nationwide, director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate,Woody Harrelson, Sope Aluko, Scott Deckert, Marcella Bragio and Michelle Lee.
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