Everyone’s favorite symbiote is back — and he’s bringing friends.
Sony Pictures’ Venom cast Tom Hardy as Spider-Man’s longtime nemesis, and although the 2018 film didn’t click with critics, audiences loved its campy charm. The antihero character will only become more important to Sony’s plans with the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which has received a new release date and its official title.
Directed by Andy Serkis, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is scheduled to hit theaters June 25, 2021, and will bring back Hardy as Eddie Brock, Venom’s human host, as well as Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, the murderous host of a new symbiote, Carnage. Michelle Williams and Reid Scott will also return for the sequel, with Naomie Harris joining the cast. Here’s everything we know about Venom: Let There Be Carnage so far.
The first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage is here and despite a surprisingly mellow beginning, it surely lives up to the subtitle. See our full breakdown of the trailer and what to expect come June.
Release date and title
Originally scheduled to hit theaters in October, Venom: Let There Be Carnage had its release date pushed back to June 25, 2021, due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. On the same day that the movie’s new premiere date was announced, the studio also revealed the film’s full, official title.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage will follow the release of Morbius, another Spider-Man spinoff feature, which debuts several months earlier in March 2021 and stars Jared Leto as the titular vampire antihero.
Photos from the San Francisco set of the film began finding their way online via social media in late February, with Tom Hardy, Woody Harrelson, and director Andy Serkis all making appearances in the images.
The photo was removed a short time later, but not before sparking plenty of discussion online. The photo doesn’t reveal Carnage’s signature, red-and-black symbiote guise — a variation on Venom’s own, black-and-white costume — but the colors of Harrelson’s shirt do seem to be a nod to Cletus Kasady’s vicious alter ego.
An oh-so-precious director
You probably know Serkis as the man behind The Lord of the Rings‘ Gollum, War for the Planet of the Apes‘ Caesar, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Supreme Leader Snoke, but the veteran motion-capture artist is going behind the camera on Venom 2 to serve as the film’s director.
While Serkis is most famous for his motion-capture characters, the English filmmaker does have directorial experience. In 2017, Serkis released his first feature film, Breathe, which starred Andrew Garfield and The Crown‘s Claire Foy. In 2018, Serkis’ performance capture-heavy adaptation of The Jungle Book, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, arrived on Netflix after a brief theatrical run.
— Andy Serkis (@andyserkis) August 5, 2019
Eddie Brock’s sophomore outing will be written by Kelly Marcel, one of Venom‘s three credited writers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In addition to Venom, Marcel’s other credits include Fifty Shades of Grey, Saving Mister Banks, and Disney’s Cruella, which will focus on the titular villain of 101 Dalmatians fame.
True Detective and Zombieland star Harrelson, who appeared in one of Venom’s post-credit sequences as serial killer Cletus Kasady, will return in Venom 2 as the murderous red symbiote Carnage.
In the comics, Kasady was Eddie Brock’s cellmate and bonded with the Venom symbiote’s offspring during a prison break. In addition to giving him superpowers, Kasady’s symbiote affected the killer’s already unbalanced mind, making him stronger and more deadly than Venom could ever hope to be.
Hardy ‘s Venom co-star Michelle Williams will also be returning for Venom 2 in the role of Eddie’s former fiancée, Anne Weying, with supporting actor Reid Scott reprising his role as Anne’s boyfriend, Dan Lewis.
Moonlight and James Bond franchise actress Naomie Harris (pictured above) will join the cast as Shriek, the psychopathic villain who becomes Cletus’ love interest in Marvel Comics lore.
Into the Spider-Verse
Venom was only the beginning. In addition to a second Venom movie, Sony is currently developing a handful of live-action films based on supporting Spider-Man characters, including Morbius the Living Vampire, the Black Cat, and Madame Web, among other rumored projects. Sony also has a number of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spinoffs in preproduction, including a feature following an all-female team of spider heroes, a direct sequel to the first movie focusing on the relationship between Gwen and Miles Morales, and a number of animated TV projects.
It’s possible that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker could join Sony’s mini Marvel Universe, too, and perhaps even make a cameo in Venom 2. Per Sony and Disney’s new deal, which will see Holland’s Spidey appear in at least one more solo Marvel Cinematic Universe film and one more Marvel team-up, Spider-Man is now free to be part of both cinematic universes.
In fact, Venom co-writer Jeff Pinkner hinted as much in a discussion with Discussing Film.While Venom’s archnemesis, Spider-Man, didn’t show up in Venom, Pinker admitted that “it is not impossible that in a future/upcoming Venom movie, Spider-Man will play a significant role.”