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What You Need To Remember Before Watching Venom 2

When Sony went public with its intentions to start expanding its superhero movie library a few years ago, everyone was understandably skeptical. With Spider-Man — their most popular character — firmly affixed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, how was the studio going to get fans into theaters without the use of their flagship wall-crawler? Thus, the officially dubbed Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters set out to make lesser-known heroes, villains, and those in-between big screen superstars. Kicking off this initiative was 2018's "Venom" starring Tom Hardy, a project that exceeded just about everyone's expectations and then some.

Venom is a character whose track record in live-action is a mixed bag. Before the 2018 film, his first adaptation came in the maligned "Spider-Man 3" from 2007, with Topher Grace taking on the part. This interpretation severely missed the mark when compared to the source material, making most audiences naturally wary of the next incarnation. Though it didn't excel with critics, "Venom" became a box office smash over its theatrical tenure, taking in over $856 million by the time it left the cinema. Not to mention, many feel this rendition of the symbiotic antihero is far superior to the original — cheesy dialogue aside.

For Sony, this was all they needed to greenlight a sequel, which has since been named "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." It was originally scheduled to premiere in October of 2020, but COVID-19-induced delays have planted it firmly for a September 24, 2021 debut. As that deadline rapidly approaches, here are some important points you should recall from "Venom" that'll greatly influence your understanding of its possibly superior sequel.

Cletus and Eddie's connection

From the moment the first Venom-centric flick was announced, fans wanted to see him square off against one of his greatest foes: Carnage. Created by David Michelinie and Mark Bagley, the character has been a constant, violent presence in the Marvel Comics pantheon since 1992. He is a common opponent of Spider-Man and Venom but has given other Marvel heroes a run for their money on several occasions. As the title suggests, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" will feature the symbiote prominently as a principal villain, but his inclusion isn't a brand new addition. His host, Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), has encountered Venom's, Eddie Brock (Hardy), once before.

With Riot (Riz Ahmed) defeated and his friendship with Venom restored, Eddie travels to San Quentin prison for an interview in the closing moments of "Venom." Awaiting him are the wild eyes and twisted smile of inmate Cletus Kasady: one of the most dangerous serial killers in the world. He forebodingly tells Eddie that once he escapes custody, there will be carnage, providing the perfect segue into the plot of "Let There Be Carnage." 

As the most recent trailer suggests, Kasady will depart San Quentin and wreak havoc with his Carnage alter-ego in tow, inevitably engaging in a hostile reunion with Eddie and Venom by the film's end.

Symbiotes at large

As noted previously, Venom wasn't the only symbiote to arrive on Earth in the 2018 movie. His main enemy was Riot, a silver, hulking beast who came to the planet intending to kickstart a full-on invasion by the Klyntar species. Thanks to the combined efforts of Venom, Eddie, and his ex-fiancé, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), Riot's schemes are thwarted and he's killed in the process, seemingly ensuring the world's safety from the parasitic alien race. This is clearly not the case since Carnage remains on the loose, but there's reason to believe he and Venom aren't the lone two gelatinous parasites occupying Earth.

"Venom" introduced the Life Foundation, a genetics corporation founded by Riot's host, Carlton Drake (Ahmed), to explore the cosmos and improve humanity's quality of life. However, it was also responsible for the collection of symbiotes and the subsequent use of them to experiment on human test subjects. The hope was to merge the two life forms and create an enhanced being, but they were highly unsuccessful. In every case, neither lifeform survived the testing process due to incompatibility, killing off most, if not all of the samples.

Bearing in mind that there are more symbiotes in space, the Life Foundation may have lost other specimen, and that the likes of Scream, Toxin, Phage, and more haven't appeared by name in the "Venom" series yet, don't be surprised if Carnage and Venom are joined by more of their kin in "Let There Be Carnage."

Eddie and Anne's story isn't over yet

"Venom" doesn't hide the fact that it's an action-packed, goofy superhero movie, but those aren't the only qualities it brings to the table. For instance, it spotlights a romantic will-they-won't-they plotline involving Eddie Brock and Anne Weying for much of its runtime. After Eddie attempts to expose Carlton Drake and the Life Foundation, the two lost their jobs and their relationship stopped dead in its tracks. While she moved on to Dr. Dan Lewis (Reid Scott), Eddie has had trouble letting go, but once Venom entered the picture, things absolutely flew off the rails.

Despite the divide between them, Anne and Eddie worked alongside Venom quite extensively throughout the 2018 feature. She and Dan figured out that the symbiote was actually killing Eddie from the inside, but that didn't stop her from bonding with it as necessary to become She-Venom. Anne even saved Eddie and Venom from Drake and Riot during their final battle, using high-frequency sound waves — a Klyntar's natural weakness — to defeat them. Shortly after, they find common ground but refuse to acknowledge their symbiote-swapping kiss as anything more than a part of the plan.

Even though they didn't follow the cliché of rekindling their lost love by the end of "Venom," it's safe to assume their story isn't over just yet. Michelle Williams will return as Anne Weying for "Let There Be Carnage," making it obvious that there's more to say between her and Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock. Whether this means their friendship will endure, their romance will renew, or Venom will trade bodies once again is a question only time can answer.