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Earlier this week, news came out that Woody Harrelson might be playing Spider-Man villain Carnage in the upcoming Venom movie. Woody Harrelson's role hasn't been revealed yet, but this contradicts previous speculation that Riz Ahmed would be taking on the role of horrific symbiote. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, and it's possible we'll get a much better idea of what's going on when we see the next trailer. However, upon hearing the Harrelson as Carnage rumors, Carnage's creator David Michelinie weighed in on the possibility of seeing the multiple time Oscar nominee in the role, saying:
Harrelson's a good actor, and has a decent range. He's played nutso characters in the past, but I guess we'll have to wait until October to see just how far he can ramp it up. Fingers crossed.
Woody Harrelson is indeed a good actor and he has continued to show his range in both blockbuster fare like The Hunger Games and War for the Planet of the Apes, as well as smaller films like his Oscar-nominated turn in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In response to a Facebook question about the casting, David Michelinie notes that Woody Harrelson has played "nutso" characters in the past, and that is an understatement. Probably most famously, Woody Harrelson played psychopathic murderer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers. Whoever plays Carnage and his alter-ego Cletus Kasady has to be able to sell insanity, and Woody Harrelson has proven he can do that. Venom is traditionally a villain in the Spider-Man mythos, so to make him look like the good guy, the villains have to be truly malicious, and Carnage fits the bill.
Carnage and alter-ego Cletus Kasady were created by David Michelinie and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man comics in 1991. For anyone who thought that Venom was too tame or too good of a guy, there was Carnage, a darker, crazier and more murderous symbiote-powered character. Cletus Kasady is a psychopath and a murderer who stands out even among comic villains. I would love to see Woody Harrelson chewing scenery as this character and providing a crazy counterpoint to Tom Hardy's steely Eddie Brock. We don't know enough about this movie yet to really say for how Carnage would fit into the story, but we have some ideas. If Venom aims for an R rating, we could get a scary and disturbing interpretation of this famous character, and Woody Harrelson is certainly capable of bringing that to life.
Whether he plays Carnage or not, Woody Harrelson is part of a seriously talented cast. In addition to Riz Ahmed and Tom Hardy, Venom boasts a killer cast that includes Jenny Slate and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams. Plus, there is the extremely interesting possibility that Tom Holland's Peter Parker might appear, making this film MCU-adjacent, I suppose. Venom has all the makings of a dark, unique comic book film in the vein of Logan, and all this talent sets it up for success. Venom is directed by Ruben Fleischer and hits theaters on October 5. For all the biggest movies hitting this year, check out our release schedule.