It’s been a long year for anyone jonesing to watch Tom Hardy return to one of his most unhinged roles this side of Charles Bronson, but after multiple delays, Sony has dropped the trailer for the eagerly awaited Venom sequel, titled Let There Be Carnage.
Lock up your lobsters, because Hardy seems to be back in full-bore Nicholas Cage mode here, and it promises to be just as weird as last time.
The trailer is likely loaded with Easter eggs and clues about what is to come in the sequel to the 2018 Marvel-adjacent Sony hit, which stars Hardy as the namesake Spider-Man villain-turned-antihero. Critics were divided over the film's violent silliness, but audiences lapped it up.
To the uninitiated, Venom is Eddie Brock, something of an evil anti-Spider-Man who plays host to a cannibalistic symbiotic goo that overtakes his body and turns him into a hulking monster with an appetite for human heads. And somehow, the runaway hit is rated PG-13, milking laughs from the buddy banter between Hardy and the tentacled monster in his head as the bodies pile up.
There’s not a lot revealed in the new trailer that audiences weren’t expecting: Returning cast members Hardy and Michelle Williams are joined up by Woody Harrelson, who sports a ginger wig to play villainous Carnage, as was teased in the first film's mid-credits scene. Here’s what we can expect, based on the trailer.
The Venom/Eddie Odd Couple vibes are strong
One of the most unexpected elements of Venom (aside from Hardy’s marble-mouthed Bronx accent) was the buddy dynamic between Brock and the symbiote, which played out like a macabre Odd Couple. Those vibes are on full display in the trailer, which opens on a lovely, messy breakfast being made by the tentacles springing from Hardy's back.
Who exactly is Cletus Kassady?
Harrelson’s big bad is Cletus Kassady, a notorious serial killer in the comics who is injected with the symbiote and becomes an even-more-deranged killer. It is almost certain that the matricidal villain will be toned down considerably here, though it also stands to reason that his violent past will be spoken of in hushed tones before the mayhem begins. And said mayhem involves Kassady turning his arms into axes.
Don't worry, Venom is still very bad
Brock treats his Venom side like Dexter does his “Dark Passenger” on the Showtime series. Which is to say, you can still expect to see him eat many heads while bantering with Brock about which baddies he's allowed to decapitate.
Carnage may not be the only villain
This mysterious shot of who appears to be Naomie Harris as Spidey villain Shriek. Given Sony’s plans for a Spider-villain extended universe — Jared Leto’s “living vampire” Morbius is next — this could be a setup for a bigger role in the inevitable sequel.
Carnage is an absolute monster
Harrelson seems to be having a ball unleashing his monstrous take on Mickey Knox, delivering “chaos soon come” with a sing-song lilt as the montage of chaos unfurls, sending cars and helicopters crashing down. The final reveal of the full-blown monster is straight out of the comics and tailor made to have fans cheering.
The trailer is lite on reveals, though it’s sure to get fans riled up and speculating about whether Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will appear for the next few months. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is directed by Andy Serkis and releases on September 17 in theaters.
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