Modern comic book movie audiences have been trained: Stay in your seats when the end credits roll, because there's usually a scene or two that tease what's to come in potential sequels. Sometimes they are used to comedic effect, as when Captain America showed up at the very end of Spider-Man: Homecoming to mock people who waited to watch his scene. Sometimes they are so far out of context, they leave the audiences baffled (looking at you, X-Men: Apocalypse scene). Venom joins the ranks today, dropping a major tease for the possible direction of Venom 2, should that movie ever happen. We tell you what the scene means, as well as what Ruben Fleischer told us about the scene, so read on.
Obviously, the rest of this article is ALL spoilers for Venom, so if you somehow landed in here without first seeing the movie, bail out now, and come back after you have checked Venom out.
Before Venom reaches its end credits, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), while speaking with his newly reunited girlfriend Anne (Michelle Williams), is teasing an important interview he has locked down. He can't tell Anne who it's with, but just notes that it's important. We don't figure that we are going to find out, immediately, who it is. The scene basically exists so that Anne can discover that the symbiote survived the final confrontation with Riot, and still lives inside of Eddie. Yes, it looked like Venom sacrificed himself to stop Riot, but some piece of him lived, and he and Eddie will continue to bond.
Movie over? Not quite. Venom has a lengthy end-credits sequence, and it starts with Eddie and Venom driving to San Quentin Prison, located north of San Francisco. Eddie (Tom Hardy) is telling Venom to keep it in check, that this interview is important to HIM, and has nothing to do with the symbiote. But we know, as comic book fans, that won't be the case for very long.
The scene has a prison guard leading Eddie down to a cell for the interview, warning him that the guy in the cell is totally unredeemable, a mental case and a total psychopath. If you have read any Spider-Man or Venom comics, you know exactly where this is going, even before it's revealed that the man in the prison cell is Cletus Kasady, the lunatic murderer who'll go on to become Carnage.
Cletus Kasady is a serial killer. He was introduced in the Amazing Spider-Man comics as a rival host to Eddie Brock, but a man who -- unlike Brock -- had absolutely NO moral guidelines, and would only use the powers of the symbiote to bring more pain and death to the world. Cletus was modeled after The Joker, was established as a cold-blooded killer from an early age, and only picked up the powers of the symbiote when he happened to share a prison cell with Eddie after Venom lost a fight to Spider-Man. The symbiote left "offspring" in the prison cell, and one of them merged with Kasady. The homicidal Carnage was born.
The on-screen version of Carnage, as is revealed in the Venom end-credits scene, is played by Woody Harrelson, an actor Ruben Fleischer worked with on Zombieland. And yet, when we spoke with Fleischer about casting Harrelson in the role of Carnage, it was a different movie in Woody's background that had the Venom director convinced that he was perfect for the part. Fleischer tells CinemaBlend:
He was the first person I thought of to play Cletus Kasady. And what will be fun is, if you think about Woody in Natural Born Killers, and that darkness and that menace that he can bring to a serial killer like Cletus Kasady, you know, he can go real dark and explore that. Carnage is going to be... just thinking about Venom pitting off against Carnage is just so exciting. And hopefully fans leave the movie really looking forward to that next one. Because I think also just seeing Tom and Woody go head to head, you know, those are two great actors that I think can really create some exciting scenes.
Woody Harrelson's version of Cletus Kasady is already locked up. He's detained in what amounts to a Hannibal Lecter-type of cell, where he isn't exactly restrained, but he isn't going anywhere either. Though, it looks as if he thinks that he is. After trading some meaningless psychobabble with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), luring him closer to the cage as their interview is about to begin, Cletus turns to the camera and promises that as soon as he gets out, there will be carnage.
And the screen cuts to black.
Now, that leaves two major questions unanswered. One, how does the symbiote leave a trace of itself behind in the prison cell to bond with Cletus? At the start of Venom 2, will we see some variation of this classic comic book panel?
Regardless, the second question -- an even bigger question -- is, "Will Venom 2 even happen?" The movie, at the time of publication, is sitting below 30% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, but the movie's strong showing at the box office could signify to Sony that the studio needs to push forward with this character and his universe, to keep selling more toys (naturally), but also to expand the world so that by the time Spider-Man is able to swing back from Marvel Studios, he'll have Venom, Carnage, Morbius, Black Cat and possibly Kraven the Hunter to play with. That will be a whole lot for the studios to play with, should these types of movies keep panning out.
For now, Venom is in theaters. The end-credits sequence sets up Woody Harrelson as Carnage, and we know that Ruben Fleischer really wants to see Harrelson and Tom Hardy going toe-to-toe as actors, and also seeing the Venom symbiote ripping Carnage to shreds. Do YOU want to see that? Now that you have seen Venom, let us know below where you stand on this movie, on the post-credits scene, and on a potential sequel.