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How Venom: Let There Be Carnage sets up a third movie

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is finally out in UK cinemas, so that doesn’t mean we can’t make some educated guesses about the future of the odd-couple antiheroes. Though the first film was received rather tepidly, it did well at the box office and a sequel was greenlit not long after.

It seems, therefore, a sequel to Let There Be Carnage is highly probable, given the almost manic and unending thirst for movies in the superhero genre. With an actor as popular as Tom Hardy in the lead role, it’s unlikely Sony will decide to end the series with the second film.

Additionally, Sony and Marvel have already spoken about a potential crossover between Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Hardy’s Venom, so we can’t imagine them backtracking on that promise, no matter how precarious it was. With that in mind, here’s what we know about any potential third Venom movie. Last chance to avoid Venom: Let There be Carnage spoilers.

In order to understand how Venom: Let There be Carnage sets up a potential sequel, you have to know what happens in the movie itself. As you’ll be aware from the trailers and various plot synopses out there, the film centres around Venom and journalist Eddie Brock’s relationship.

The two are tested when a serial killer named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) is infected with a symbiote himself. But how does it happen and why does it matter?

Brock is the only journalist Cletus will speak to, the man to whom he wants to pour his life secrets. He asks Eddie to print what sounds like a line from a poem in the paper and in return, he’ll reveal to Eddie where all the bodies of people he’s killed are buried.

However, Venom – with his keen observational skills – discovers an etching on Cletus’ wall is the very same location, and the police are able to uncover the bodies without Cletus’ help. As a result, the governor of California temporarily un-bans the death penalty and sentences Cletus.

An angry Cletus asks Brock to visit him, and he taunts Brock so badly that venom lashes out and attacks, only for Cletus to bite him. It is through the blood, which Cletus says is unlike any other blood he’s ever tasted, that the symbiote is transferred into Cletus – thus, Carnage is born.

Meanwhile, Cletus escapes with his newfound power and finds his long-lost love Shriek (Naomie Harris) and breaks her out of the Ravencroft asylum/prison. They agree to each hunt down the other’s enemy, and Shriek brings Ann to a church to lure Eddie – and thus Venom – to her, while Cletus kidnaps Detective Mulligan (Stephen Graham) for Shriek, the cop responsible for shooting her eye.

There’s a lot of fighting which results in Shriek stringing Mulligan up by the neck with a chain and then tossing him out onto some scaffolding, which he lands on spine first. Ouch.

It would be easy to assume that with actors like Graham, Harris and Harrelson in your film, you might be setting them up for future movies. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like either baddie will return for the third. Brock weakens Carnage with the noise of the bell from the church (which incidentally crushes Shriek) and Venom re-absorbs (basically eating) Carnage. He also kills Cletus by biting off his head.

While it’s highly unlikely Cletus can recover from decapitation, it’s ‘never says never’ for Shriek. After all, Mulligan looked pretty dead too, only for him to miraculously open his eyes, glowing blue, to say ‘there are monsters everywhere’ – whatever that means. (It means he’s likely going to become Toxin, as per the comics.)

However, the most important in terms of the set-up for a third film are the very end and the post-credits scene. The final moments show Venom and Eddie on a beach somewhere, each agreeing that they’re better together, and will work as vigilante heroes wherever bad people who need eating are.

In terms of a future Venom/Spider-Man crossover, it seems likely (even if this tease was just Hardy teasing us). Way back in 2019, Marvel’s Kevin Feige said: “I think probably it’s up to Sony. Sony has both those characters and, has Venom in their world.” At the time, plans for Let There Be Carnage hadn’t been announced, but Feige was confident that “it seems likely at some point”.

More excitingly, Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis also teased that Venom and Spider-Man’s worlds would “collide” and the post-credits scene seems to have done this in the “big time” way Serkis said it would (via JakesTakes). Hardy said: “Obviously, that’s a large canyon to leap, to be bridged by one person alone, and it would take a much higher level of diplomacy and intelligence, sitting down and talking, to take on an arena such as that.

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