The web has been ablaze in recent months with rumours that Woody Harrelson is set to portray the character of Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage, in Venom. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen. However, whilst promoting Solo: A Star Wars Story, Harrelson has reveal that:
“I’m just … I’m in a little fraction of [Venom] but I’ll be in the next one, you know? So I haven’t read that script, but anyways, just rolled the dice.”
For a while now, the general consensus within the Marvel fandom has been that Carnage will appear at the end of Venom to set up a sequel. We know that Sony have ambitions to make their own Marvel universe that runs adjunct to the MCU so it’s perfectly plausible to imagine this scenario coming to fruition. In the comics, Carnage is depicted as an adversary to Spider-Man, as well serving as an enemy to Venom.
Like Venom, Carnage belongs to a species of amorphous extraterrestrial parasites known as the Symbiotes and is able to acquire new hosts at will. This in-universe ability offers Sony a helpful plot device for the future if either Harrelson or Tom Hardy (Venom) want to move on and could be especially helpful if Disney are able to bring the characters into the MCU.
With regards to the MCU: one does wonder whether the success of those movies will hamper Sony’s latest outing. After the giddy highs of Infinity War and the promise of another micro-outing in Ant Man and the Wasp, are audiences ready for an origin story that takes place in a completely different (cinematic) universe? Does the casual movie goer even know that Fox, Sony and Disney all own different Marvel IPs? Time will tell, however, we should give Venom the benefit of the doubt for now: there are some big names attached to it and the fact that Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is directing is especially intriguing.
Venom is set for release on October 5 2018 and features a cast that includes Tom Hardy, Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Jenny Slate, Reid Scott, Scott Haze and Sope Aluko.