The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in a few weeks, but Sony continues to busily construct the architecture to turn its solo superhero franchise into a multi-spinoff megafranchise, with villain-centric films about The Sinister Six and Venom promising to offer a slightly darker alternative to the glitter-bright Marvel Studios universe. (If you will, Sony’s Spider-verse is the Hot Topic to Marvel Studios’ Pacific Sunwear.) The Sinister Six appears closer to reality, with Drew Goddard apparently onboard to write-direct. But the studio also dropped a potentially big hint about the Venom film on the Daily Bugle Tumblr built for Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The Tumblr post describes the capture of a lunatic ginger serial killer named “Cletus Kasady.” The story carries the byline “Eddie Brock.” Both are key figures in the Spidey mythology: Eddie Brock becomes the black-costumed slithery villain-turned-sorta-hero Venom, while Cletus Kasady is an equally slithery but much redder villain named Carnage. IGN asked franchise producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad if this meant that Carnage would appear in Venom. “What a great idea!” replied Arad, while Tolmach stared down at his pocket aces and said they were “taking [the idea] into consideration.”
A quick bit of history here. In his original incarnation, Venom’s outfit was actually a powerful alien being. The living costume occasionally gave birth to offspring — and one of those offspring bonded with Kasady. (In the ’00s, this mythology was tweaked a bit in the Ultimate universe, where the costumes were [insert scientific mumbo-jumo] created in part by Peter’s father.) In every incarnation, Carnage is much crazier: Whereas Venom has a twisted moral code and thinks of himself as a hero, Carnage is a psychotic serial killer who occasionally goes on citywide homicide binges.
It’s still unclear when, precisely, Sony intends to introduce the Venom character into the Amazingverse. Venom could be the villain in Amazing Spider-Man 3; he could be one of the leads in the Sinister Six movie, assuming that comes out first; or he could be created whole-cloth for his own film. Still, one thing is clear: If Carnage is in the Venom movie, then we can probably stop talking about Venom as a movie “about” a supervillain. Venom is a bad guy, but Carnage is much worse: His presence would seem to imply that, in Act 3, Venom will wind up fighting for the greater good (or at least against the much-more-obviously-bad). Sort of like Ed Norton and Tim Roth in The Incredible Hulk, except less green, unless they get around to including Lasher the Green Symbiote, which is the opposite of impossible in a world where a movie called Guardians of the Galaxy is a real thing.