WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Sony's Venom, in theaters now.
Sony has a lot riding on Venom. The Tom Hardy-starring film is meant to be the first in a shared cinematic universe of characters related to (but not necessarily including) Spider-Man. Ever since the movie was announced, Sony made it clear Venom would be the springboard to an entire universe, much like Marvel Studios' Iron Man or Warner Bros.' Man of Steel. However, unlike those two, before Venom was even finished filming, Sony had already announced some of its plans going forward.
Ant one point, the studio was planning a team-up film featuring two of the Spider-Verse's femme fatales, Silver Sable and Black Cat (a movie that, for the time being, has been put on hold as Sony refocuses it more specifically on Black Cat). Beyond that, Sony has already announced a film based on Morbius, the Living Vampire, with Jared Leto attached to star as the Spider-Man frenemy. What's more, there are even rumors that Kraven the Hunter might get his own solo film.
But the future of Sony's shared cinematic universe likely depends on the success of Venom -- if not the film's critical reception, then at least its box-office results. By all accounts, it looks like the movie is set to break the record for an October release, which means a sequel is likely to get the green light. And considering the potential of the movie's after-credits scene, there is only one comic book story that Sony should look to for this sequel: Maximum Carnage.
By now, there's a good chance that you've seen (or heard about) the after-credits scene of Venom. With Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote are officially bonded as one hero/anti-hero, the pair are ready for their next adventure, which finds them in the form of Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady. In the film's post-credits scene, Eddie Brock, still working as a reporter, visits a prison to interview Kasady, who promises to break free of his cage and unleash carnage. It's a promising tease, and one that fans likely hope Sony follows through on. For that to happen, the sequel needs to go full-on Carnage -- no holds barred.
Considering this set-up, and the notion that Sony has an entire universe's worth of characters that it wants to spin off into their own movies, a loose adaptation of Marvel Comics' 1993 fan-favorite series Maximum Carnage would be Sony's best bet. Just like Venom took some cues from the Venom: Lethal Protector comic, the sequel should also be rooted in a major comic book storyline.