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Venom Movie Theories That Change Everything

Venom has had a long, weird history in Marvel Comics that the 2018 Sony Pictures film hardly gets to explore. The character as we know it today was created by Todd McFarlane and David Michelinie, and first appeared as "Venom" — rather than Spider-Man's "The Alien Costume" — in 1988. Since then, Venom and the symbiotes have become a much larger presence in the Marvel Universe, with villains like Carnage and Knull creating havoc not just for Spider-Man, but for everyone.

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is slated for release in September 2021. Tom Hardy will return as Eddie Brock, who's mostly worked out his contentious relationship with Venom after struggling to make peace with it in the first movie. Woody Harrelson will star opposite Hardy as Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, who was created by Michelinie and Mark Bagley and first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1992. There are tons of theories about "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," as well as how Venom might make his way into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe and which villains could be introduced in this film and later ones. Here's a breakdown.

Riot will become Carnage

In "Venom," Riz Ahmed starred as Carlton Drake, a scientist who bonds with the Riot symbiote and battles Eddie and Venom. ScreenRant theorized that Riot would become Carnage in subsequent films. The trailer for "Let There Be Carnage" clearly indicates differently, but this theory could still hold weight. At the very least, Riot could be a threat equal to Carnage in power and scale, which would put Eddie in a very precarious position as he and Venom try to fight them both.

Created by David Michelinie and Ron Lim, Riot first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1993. The Life Foundation created Riot and his four symbiote "siblings" from seeds they forcibly took from Venom, which technically makes Riot Venom's son. The five get separation anxiety and usually work together, though Venom has easily defeated all five of them at once without breaking a sweat. This is partially because the five symbiotes are so young, and therefore less capable of controlling their hosts. Riot bonds with the mercenary Trevor Cole in the comics, but after Cole's death, he bounces from host to host.

It's possible that movie Riot could have bonded or will bond at some point with Harrelson's Cletus Kasady. Although this doesn't necessarily mean Riot will become Carnage, the symbiotes could team up against Venom and cause a lot of chaos and destruction. Movie Riot was allegedly found by the Life Foundation, rather than created by it, so he isn't as young. This means he has more power to control his hosts. Plus movie Riot has already demonstrated his preference for jumping between hosts, so anything could happen.

Carnage will be Venom's son

The latest "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" trailer reveals a first look at Woody Harrelson, as Cletus Kasady, becoming the iconic Marvel Comics villain Carnage. The trailer shows Kasady being experimented on and seemingly bonding with the Carnage symbiote before breaking out of Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane, where he's apparently been locked up for some time. The trailer shows a different origin for Carnage from the comics, but as ScreenRant theorized in 2020, Carnage will likely still be Venom's son.

In the comics, Venom gets Eddie into enough trouble that he ends up behind bars, but he doesn't stay there for long. Venom helps him escape and leaves behind a spawn, which eventually becomes Carnage. Although symbiotes don't have emotional attachments to their offspring, they can detect where they are. But Carnage figures out how to block Venom from tracking him after bonding with Kasady, Eddie's cellmate, which makes him even more dangerous.

Eddie didn't go to prison in the first "Venom" movie, and it doesn't seem like he goes to Ravencroft in the sequel. However, they did technically meet in prison: Eddie interviewed Kasady in the "Venom" mid-credits scene, when he was behind bars at a smaller, seemingly less secure institution. In the sequel's trailer, Kasady tells Eddie, "It's been a long time. Missed you so much." Although they didn't spend time in a cell together, the Life Foundation could have gotten a seed from Venom at any point that could become Carnage — therefore still making him Venom's offspring.

Let There Be Carnage may set up a multiverse sequel

There are tons of theories about how Marvel Studios could bring characters from "Venom" into the MCU, especially since Carnage is debuting in the sequel. One theory, as detailed by ScreenRant, is that "Let There Be Carnage" will set the stage for a "Maximum Carnage" crossover event, inspired by the epic 1993 comics crossover of the same name. The storyline brought together Spider-Man, Venom, Captain America, Black Cat, Morbius, Cloak and Dagger and more to fight Carnage, who teamed up with Shriek, Carrion, Doppelganger, and Demogoblin for a killing spree through New York City. The "Venom 2" trailer seems to reveal a brief glimpse of Shriek, which supports this theory, especially since Sony is also releasing a Morbius film.

In the event of a "Maximum Carnage" crossover event, Tom Holland's Peter Parker might team up with Venom, which would allow Hardy's version of the character to appear in the MCU and potentially tie together each of the individual properties currently controlled by either Sony Pictures Entertainment or Marvel Studios. After all, Carnage isn't just a Venom villain; he's also a key member of Spider-Man's rogues gallery and a major threat to the entire Marvel Universe. His introduction to the franchise could and should affect more than just Eddie Brock and his symbiote. 

Spider-Man will bond with Venom

Venom and Spider-Man are forever linked in the comics, because Venom began as little more than "The Alien Suit" donned by Peter Parker. In the movies, Venom appeared in "Spider-Man 3," but the version of the character Tom Hardy plays in "Venom" is totally different. Spider-Man didn't appear in the first "Venom," and Venom hasn't appeared in any of the Spider-Man films since Peter Parker was introduced to the MCU. However, tons of fans theorize that Peter will appear in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," because there's plenty of opportunity for it to happen.

We Got This Covered broke down one possible route for a Spidey cameo. "Spider-Man: Far from Home" ended with The Daily Bugle releasing a video from Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), outing Peter as Spider-Man. In the video, Mysterio also claims Peter staged the attack in London and murdered him. Since Eddie is working on getting his journalism career back at the end of "Venom," it's possible he'd pursue this story, which would not only introduce him to Peter, but potentially allow them to work together. If this happens, Venom and Spidey could bond to combine their powers and take down Carnage and Shriek in a later "Maximum Carnage" crossover event.

J. Jonah Jameson will bring Venom into the MCU

If Eddie Brock doesn't choose to pursue the Peter Parker story on his own, he could be hired by another familiar face: J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), who made his MCU debut in "Spider-Man: Far from Home." ScreenRant theorizes that Jameson could hire Brock to gather as much information about Peter Parker and Spider-Man as he possibly can, so Jameson can publicly paint Spidey as a villain on his webcast. 

Eddie's interview with Kasady makes the front page of The Daily Bugle in the latest "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" trailer, so Jameson almost certainly knows who Brock is and what he's capable of as an investigative journalist. Therefore, Jameson may decide to hire Eddie and use his journalistic skills to help him sow public distrust in Spider-Man in the upcoming "Spider-Man: No Way Home." 

It seems unlikely Jameson will be upfront about his intentions, so this may go sideways for him, especially if Eddie figures out why he's been tasked with looking at Peter's background. He and Venom could decide to work with Peter instead, thereby also becoming villains in Jameson's misinformation crusade and potentially putting Eddie's journalism career in jeopardy yet again. Alternately, Eddie could knock Jameson off his pedestal, which would create a whole new story for the movies to explore.

Spider-Man and Venom will team up in No Way Home

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" has fans buzzing about the multiverse, especially since it will feature multiple villains reprising their roles from the Sam Raimi-Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy. "Spider-Man: Far from Home" already established the possible existence of the multiverse, while "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" comes out in early 2022. Since the Spider-Verse has become increasingly popular after the success of the animated film "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," it makes sense for Marvel Studios to finally introduce this concept in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Because "No Way Home" could potentially introduce multiple Peter Parkers, it also makes sense that this movie might introduce more characters to the MCU, including Venom. In the comics, Venom and Spider-Man have a super contentious relationship that usually involves fighting, although other takes on the characters have seen them as teammates, begrudging allies, and even roommates. Tom Hardy's Venom is still an antihero, but he isn't as villainous as his comics counterpart. That means he doesn't have to be an antagonist if and when he makes his way to the MCU. A team-up with Peter makes a lot of sense, and could help establish future MCU projects, like a Sinister Six movie or big crossover events.

Venom will get his iconic white chest symbol

Since his 1988 debut in Marvel Comics, Venom has had an iconic white spider symbol on his chest which visually connects him to Spider-Man and gives him part of his signature look. However, in the 2018 movie, Venom doesn't have this symbol. There's a simple reason for this: movie Venom doesn't bond with Spider-Man, copy his powers and alter his classic costume design. Even though Spider-Man is rumored to appear in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" and Eddie Brock could definitely appear in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it isn't necessary for these characters to meet in order for Venom to get his white spider symbol in a future film.

IGN noted that in the Marvel Ultimate universe, Venom doesn't have the white symbol because, much like in the movie, the symbiote that bonds with Eddie has never touched Spider-Man. Venom never got the symbol in the comics, but in the video game "Marvel Ultimate Alliance," it's right on his chest. The video game isn't considered canon for the Ultimate universe, but there's a neat story element that explains how Venom acquired the white spider symbol.

Toward the end of the game, a mad scientist experimented on Peter with a Venom serum. Peter became Carnage, and Venom had to take him down. He did this by devouring Carnage and spitting Peter out, and in the process, he absorbed the Carnage symbiote infused with Peter's blood. This gave Venom full control of his suit and the white spider, since he had now bonded with the essence of Spider-Man. Something similar could certainly happen in "Venom 2" or another Venom movie, even if Eddie and Peter never actually cross paths.

Venom 2 will introduce Kraven the Hunter

Sony has confirmed development of a Kraven the Hunter movie, which will continue to expand its Marvel movie roster. The character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and first appeared in "The Amazing Spider-Man" #15 in 1964. The Sony film is rumored to take inspiration from "Kraven's Last Hunt," a 1987 comics crossover event where the villain hunts down Peter Parker, fights him, and then seemingly kills him in cold blood. If this dark plot is the focus of the Sony film, it could create some interesting conflicts for the Sony Marvel Universe and the MCU.

Before Kraven makes his solo movie debut, however, some believe he will make a cameo in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." Although Kraven is infamous in the comics, he isn't as widely known to non-comics-reading audiences. As noted by ScreenRant, putting Kraven in "Venom 2" could bolster interest by giving him screen time with an already beloved character, and there's plenty of precedence for this in other superhero films. Kraven could even hunt down Venom, introducing a non-symbiote villain to the movie and increasing the stakes for Eddie Brock as he attempts to remove the threat posed by Carnage.

Venom 2 teases another villain: Knull

Carnage is clearly the main villain in "Venom 2," but he's not likely to be the only one. IGN theorizes that the movie title, "Let There Be Carnage," actually teases another, even more powerful enemy: Knull, the eldritch god of darkness and creator of symbiotes in the Marvel Universe. Knull was created by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, and first appeared in "Venom" #3 in 2018. He died in "King in Black" #5 in April 2021, after Eddie vaporized him using the Uni-Power. Before his death, Knull caused all kinds of destruction; at one point, he even killed Eddie. If he appears in the movies, he'll pose a threat to everyone.

Knull detests light and life, and seeks to bring darkness to the entire universe through having his symbiotes bond with other creatures and turn them into feral killing machines. Knull can control the symbiotes, including Venom, which makes him an ideal villain — whether he crosses into the MCU or not.

In the comics, Carnage begins the "Cult of Carnage" to commune with Knull and becomes his divine instrument of death. This could give Carnage and Cletus Kasady a clear motive for murder in "Venom 2," and heighten the stakes considerably. In regards to the MCU, Knull has used his All-Black Necrosword in the comics to chop off the head of a Celestial — possibly the same head that became a space station in "Guardians of the Galaxy." The Necrosword is eventually acquired by Gorr the God Butcher, who's the primary villain in "Thor: Love and Thunder." Knull's connection to Carnage is too strong to ignore, which may make him inevitable.