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This month’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage is just one strand of the tangled web that is Sony’s Venom and Spider-Man universe.
Here’s everything you need to know about the shared history, cameos, crossovers with the Spider-Man movies, related projects in the pipeline and all the rumours that are getting our spider sense tingling.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage release date: 15 October 2021
Even before the release of 2018’s Venom, the alien symbiote had been a cult (anti)-hero for three decades. Venom first hijacked the webslinger’s world in the pages of 1984’s The Amazing Spider-Man #252. A generation later, in 2007, the third of Sam Raimi’s noughties Spider-Man movies saw Topher Grace playing infected photo-journalist Eddie Brock as a head-treading weasel who was actually more appealing as a jet-black gelatinous mass. .
But it was Tom Hardy’s interpretation in Sony’s dedicated Venom movie that changed the character from medium-sized-bad to marquee name. Throwing his sweatiest acting chops at the role and playing Brock as a conflicted enigma in a tug-of-war with his own body, Hardy helped establish Venom as the first pillar of the modern Sony universe, warmed up the global box office to the tune of $856 million – and teed up this month’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)
Right now, the Venom 2 release date in the UK is so close we can feel the drool dripping on our shoulder. We can’t wait to see Venom going at it hammer and tongues with rival symbiote Carnage on 15th October, and you’ll find all the details in our recent article on Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Meanwhile, let’s look ahead at some of the potential repercussions from this latest slice of Sony real estate – with (mild) spoilers!
As usual, the big talking point surrounding Let There Be Carnage is a crossover between the Venom and Spidey characters. Well, Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis was open on the crossover topic in an interview with IGN. “That's the question on everyone's lips. They want to know if Venom is gonna meet Spider-Man… of course, it's gonna happen. Look, it depends when you want to get there, and also, what the appetite is. If people want more Venom stories, then, to jump straight to Spider-Man, you could be missing out on so many great supervillain characters in between now and then. So, in a way, by rushing to it, you might be closing the door.”
So many villains, so little time. But if you haven’t had the pleasure – and we use the term loosely – of meeting Morbius, you’ll want to remedy that when the third of Sony’s Spider-Man universe movies hits ODEON in January 2022.
If you thought Venom was an anti-hero with a relaxed attitude to rough justice, then Daniel Espinosa’s upcoming movie introduces a character whose moral compass is spinning like a roulette wheel. Created in 1971 by Roy Thomas – and appearing in that year’s The Amazing Spider-Man comic series – Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) is a brilliant biologist driven to desperate lengths by his failure to cure his own rare blood disease. And before you can say, ‘Mike, that’s an incredibly bad idea’, he’s trekked to a creepy-looking cave, invited the resident bats to feast on his blood – and begun the terrifying transformation into a living vampire with heightened powers and a blood-lust that makes Dracula look like a teetotaller.
With Leto at the top of his flesh-creeping game, and big names like Tyrese Gibson and Matt ‘Doctor Who’ Smith also in the Morbius cast, this latest movie should be a scream in its own right. But where does Morbius fit into the Sony universe established by Venom and Let There Be Carnage – and will there be a common bloodline with the Spider-Man movies?
All we’re saying is, with Morbius a regular adversary to Spidey and an associate of Venom in the comics, don’t bet against it. Consider this: when Gibson was asked by ComicBook.com whether Morbius would be a canonical part of the MCU, he answered with a straight ‘Yes’. And when Espinosa was reeling off names of the stars on his Morbius set in an interview with MovieZine, he cited Tom Holland. Slip of the tongue?
As for Easter eggs, freeze the Morbius trailer at 2:10 to see a mural of Spider-Man – with the word ‘murderer’ scrawled over it – as the vampire strides past. Sure, it might just be a nod to the fanboys, but what if it means more?
Kraven The Hunter (2023 TBC)
Two years is a lifetime in superhero movie development, but we’re starting to add flesh to the bones of Kraven The Hunter, pencilled onto the Sony release sheet for January 2023. To be filed under ‘concrete’ is that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (formerly of Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age Of Ultron) will fill the leopardskin strides of Sergei Kravinoff. If you’ve read the comics, you’ll know that villain roles don’t come much meatier than this psychopath Russian big-game hunter, who has chased Spider-Man through the ages since debuting in 1964.
More speculative – but seriously exciting – is the crossover potential, with screenwriter Richard Wenk telling the Discussing Film podcast that the movie is inspired by the comic story Kraven’s Last Hunt, which just so happens to feature a climactic smack-down with the webslinger himself. One thing’s for sure: when we know more, so will you.