WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
This weekend, Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theaters and unleashes chaos in multiple ways; here are the ten biggest spoilers from the movie. Andy Serkis takes over from Ruben Fleischer as director for the sequel, which sees Tom Hardy returning to the role of Eddie Brock (and the voice of Venom). So far, so good, as opening weekend box office projections for Venom 2 have it earning $60 million domestically, though it should be noted that Sony has a more modest projection of $40 million.
The reviews for Venom 2 have been similar to the reviews for the first movie, with film critics who get what it’s trying to do appreciating its zaniness and film critics who want something more cerebral coming away underwhelmed. The story finds Eddie Brock’s career having picked up slightly, but his personal life is still a disaster. Anne (Michelle Williams) is in his life but is still with Dan (Reid Scott). Venom is desperate for the sustenance of human brains and Eddie is desperate to not be framed for murder, particularly by Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham), who is already suspicious of Eddie. And it all gets worse when serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) decides that he and Eddie have a connection and bond.
Related: Venom 2 Cast Guide: Every Let There Be Carnage Character Explained
For a slim and trim runtime of an hour and a half, Venom 2 has a number of reveals and important setups that will have an impact on not only Sony’s Spider-Man Universe but also on the MCU moving forward. Here are the ten biggest reveals, twists and spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Carnage’s origin is slightly different than what it is in the comics. In the Marvel comic books, Eddie Brock was actually in prison with Cletus Kasady at Ryker’s Island and, for a time, was his cellmate. He was temporarily separated from Venom, and when the Venom symbiote came to rescue him from jail, it left a tiny piece of itself behind as abandoned offspring. Venom’s lonely offspring bonded with Cletus Kasady by entering his bloodstream and soon, Carnage was born.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage smartly changes this origin story and in doing so helps better flesh out the characters of both Cletus Kasady and of Eddie Brock. In the movie, Eddie merely visits Cletus in prison as Cletus will only be interviewed by Eddie. Cletus plays mind games with Eddie and while Eddie is annoyed but keeps his patience, Venom loses his cool and makes Eddie grab Cletus in his cell. In their brief scuffle, Cletus bites Eddie’s hand hard enough to draw blood and quickly realizes that something isn’t right with the darkly comedic line that’s been played in the trailers: “I have tasted blood before and that is not it.” The blood he draws has a bit of the symbiote in it, which bonds with Cletus but remains dormant until he’s sent for his execution. As the lethal poison enters Cletus Kasady’s bloodstream, the symbiote springs into action and takes over, transforming Cletus into Carnage for the first time.
The Symbiotes’ Origins Are Confirmed To Be Changed
This was already hinted at in the first Venom movie with Riot and again in the trailers for Venom 2, but the symbiotes’ origin is also changed from the comics. In the comics, the symbiotes are really the Klyntar alien race. Symbiotes come in a range of colors for different reasons, but they tend to be shaped by the personalities of their first hosts. Though the Venom symbiote has bonded with a number of characters in the comics, its most notable and regular host is Eddie Brock. Even so, Peter Parker was the first person the Venom symbiote initially bonded with, so all of Spider-Man’s powers were imprinted upon the symbiote from that point on. In the comics, Carnage is red because the symbiote first bonded with Cletus Kasady’s bloodstream, and the fact that Kasady is a homicidal serial killer passed those qualities to the symbiote.
Related: Why Venom: Let There Be Carnage Isn’t R Rated: How Violent Is It?
This appears to be changed in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, however. As the trailer shows, when Carnage unleashes himself for the first time, Venom retreats, saying, “Oh, sh*t, that is a red one!” The implication in Venom 2 is that red symbiotes like Carnage are known to Venom’s species and that they’re something else entirely. In the first Venom, Venom pointed out that Riot had a number of weapons and abilities he didn’t have, but it framed as though it was simply because Riot was just superior to him. Venom 2 suggests that the symbiotes aren’t necessarily shaped by their hosts, but arrive with fully-formed personalities and abilities and merely bond with the host they’re best suited to. That will very likely come into play in a third movie or beyond, for reasons outlined below.
Shriek’s History With Cletus
Cletus Kasady may be criminally insane but it doesn’t mean he’s incapable of feeling love. Indeed, Cletus loves only one person in the world, and that’s Frances Barrison, a.k.a. Shriek (No Time to Die’s Naomie Harris). The trailers show they have a connection as adults, but the opening scenes of the movie show their history goes way back. As a boy, Cletus Kasady was sent to St. Estes, an institution for dangerous orphans, after he murdered his parents and grandmother. It was there that he met Frances, a girl with the ability to manipulate sound in the form of a destructive sonic shriek, and they became friends then fell in love, the only good thing in each other’s lives. Unfortunately, the two are separated when it’s decided that the orphanage no longer has the capabilities needed to safeguard against Shriek’s powers and she’s transferred to the Ravencroft Institute. For years, Frances keeps up with Cletus’s killings in the news, eagerly following new developments. Cletus also never forgets Frances, and his chaotic writings and drawings indicate that thoughts of her still consume him.
Ravencroft & Shriek’s Breakout
Though appearing briefly in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane hasn’t shown up much in the movies. That changes with Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which establishes Ravencroft as a key location in the universe in the same way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done with The Raft. After being removed from St. Estes, Frances is sent to Ravencroft Institute, which functions as a specialized, maximum-security prison asylum for mutants and superhuman criminals. It’s revisited a few times in the movie, the most important scene being when Cletus and Carnage break Shriek out. With the help of Carnage, Cletus bypasses all the security measures keeping Shriek in place, kills the doctor overseeing Shriek, and then Carnage smashes Shriek’s cell to bits and blows a hole through the wall, allowing them to escape.
Detective Mulligan’s Link To Shriek
In the prequel scene that opens Venom 2, the villain Shriek is transferred from St. Estes to Ravencroft in a heavily-guarded police transport vehicle. She’s handcuffed and surrounded by multiple police officers who apparently somehow didn’t know of Shriek’s powers, as she uses them on a young police officer, who shoots her in his panic to shut her up. The end of the scene shows her being shot and rolling out of the back of the vehicle but she’s then shown laying on a surgical table with a bandage over her head and eye, and when she emerges, she has the cloudy eye and scarring from the comics, clearly the result of the young cop’s shot to her head. It’s later revealed that not only was that young police officer Detective Mulligan, he also believes he killed her. His revelation comes right as the camera focuses on his left ear, which for the first time is revealed to be fitted with a hearing aid. Mulligan and Shriek are forever linked: she took his ear; he took her eye.
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Anne Becomes She-Venom Again
In both Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Michelle Williams’ Anne becomes She-Venom, albeit briefly. Both times, it’s to help out Eddie when he’s in major trouble. In the sequel, Mulligan is fed up with Eddie being so squirrelly about what he knows about Cletus Kasady and the serial killer’s breakout from Ryker’s. So he hauls Eddie into the precinct for questioning. Unfortunately, Eddie is without Venom, as the symbiote got fed up with Eddie keeping him shackled and left after they had a knock-down, drag-out fight that wrecked Eddie’s apartment. Anne tracks down Venom (who is currently hiding in Mrs. Chen) and convinces Venom to come with her. Once again, she turns into She-Venom, breaking Eddie out of the police precinct and jumping from rooftop to rooftop in her She-Venom form with Eddie in her arms. Just like the first movie, it only lasts a few moments, but it’s enough to tease what could be with a She-Venom movie.
How Carnage Dies
Venom: Let There Be Carnage makes one more important change from the comics in regard to how the symbiotes work and it heavily factors into how Carnage and Cletus Kasady are defeated. In the comics, Carnage and Cletus are bonded more strongly than Eddie and Venom, with Carnage utterly devoted to Cletus and subservient to his needs and wants. Venom 2 flips that dynamic around, however. When Shriek’s sonic screams start to irritate Carnage, he threatens to hurt her, with Cletus fighting him for control as he doesn’t want to see Frances hurt. Finally, Carnage strikes Shriek, which Eddie and Venom see, both realizing at that moment that Cletus Kasady and Carnage aren’t truly bonded as they are and it’s a weakness. Taking advantage of Cletus and Carnage being distracted by each other, Venom jumps from the top of the church and impales in the head with a spike, causing Carnage and Cletus to separate and all four of them to fall hundreds of feet. The Venom symbiote lands on Dan, who is holding onto Anne, and together, the three of them make a chain to catch Eddie just before he hits the ground. Carnage and Cletus aren’t so lucky, however. Venom takes advantage of Carnage’s weakened state and eats him, reabsorbing the symbiote into his body. Meanwhile, Cletus is laying in a broken heap, prime pickings for Venom.
Toxin Makes His First Brief Appearance
However, not all of Carnage died and was reabsorbed by Venom. During the final battle at the church, Shriek was about to kill Detective Mulligan and had him prone with a chain around his neck, threatening to choke him. At some point during the fight, a tiny bit of the Carnage symbiote landed on Mulligan, and the very end of the film shows him laying there near death, but suddenly, his eyes snap open with a strange glow. The Venom 2 scene is clearly a setup for Toxin’s first full entrance into the next movie; in the comics, Toxin is the offspring of Carnage that bonds with Patrick Mulligan. Initially, Mulligan is afraid that Toxin will be just as violent and homicidal as its sire, Carnage, but over time, Toxin proves himself to be a legitimate hero with Mulligan’s guidance and teaching. Whether or not it will be Mulligan who will carry the young symbiote remains to be seen but Toxin is on the way.
Eddie & Venom Teleport To The MCU
The post-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage changes Marvel and Sony movies forever. Eddie and Venom are laying on the bed in their tropical hotel room, relaxing on vacation. Venom confesses he’s been keeping “80 billion light-years” of collective knowledge as a symbiote and says Eddie’s fragile human mind couldn’t comprehend it–and then immediately asks his host if he’d like to experience a tiny fraction of what Venom knows. Eddie says yes and suddenly, the room starts shaking, multiple realities and images flash in front of him, and there is a blinding flash of light. The only problem is, it wasn’t Venom showing Eddie Brock his symbiote memories–when the shaking stops, they’re in a different hotel room and it’s suddenly day instead of night. They both realize they’re in some other universe or realm, even though they have no idea exactly what that realm is. As it turns out, it’s the MCU.
Related: Is Venom In Spider-Man: No Way Home Now?
The Venom Vs. Spider-Man Conflict Is Set Up
Instead of the Spanish-language telenovela they had been watching, the TV in their hotel room is now playing a news report with a very familiar face and voice on the screen: J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). As one might expect, he’s yelling about his favorite topic, the second familiar face to pop up in the Venom: Let There Be Carnage post-credits scene: Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Eddie Brock and Venom may not know it yet, but the universe they’ve landed in is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the very end of the scene, Venom says, “That guy…” as if he recognizes Peter Parker before licking the screen. It all implies that very soon, Venom will be Spider-Man’s enemy in the MCU and more than happy to eat the plucky wallcrawler. Despite its lean runtime, Venom: Let There Be Carnage has plenty of major ties to the wider Marvel movie universe.
Next: Venom 2’s Post-Credits Scene Changes Marvel Movies Forever
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About The Author
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Alisha Grauso is a features editor at Screen Rant, as well as the editorial lead for Atom Insider with Atom Tickets. Previously, she was the editor-at-large and editor-in-chief for Movie Pilot. Her work can be found, or expertise cited, at Forbes, CNN, CBS, Variety, CNBC, Marvel, Business Insider, Birth.Movies.Death, Film School Rejects, and more. She’s also the co-leader of California Freelance Writers United, a grassroots organization advocating for smarter legislation and forward-thinking labor law for freelance writers in California and across the country.
Alisha has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Dallas and spent her years before jumping into entertainment journalism as an adjunct professor, a background that has come in handy in her editing roles. As a kid, her nose was always in a book or eyes glued to a screen, so it was inevitable she’d end up in two different worlds that are all about storytelling.
When she’s not working, you can find her on Twitter chirping about movies & TV, books, politics, ADHD, history, and sharing pictures of her cats @alishagrauso. Or you can contact her directly at alishag(at)screenrant(dot)com.
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