Venom: Let There Be Carnage: 5 Things We Know About Woody Harrelson's Character

Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

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When three-time Academy Award nominated actor Woody Harrelson appeared in a post-credits scene for Venom in 2018, his character, Cletus Kasady, promised that whenever he found his way out of prison there would be “carnage.” Well, based on the name of the creepy convict’s symbiotic alter ego and the title of director Andy Serkis’ new follow-up, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it appears that he was certainly not exaggerating. Well, before the Carnage does indeed commence, let’s take a deeper look at what the promotional material for the latest of Sony’s Marvel movies and the first film in the franchise has already taught us about the Venom 2 villain, starting with what already made him a much feared monster before he became an actual monster.

Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady in Venom

Cletus Kasady Is A Convicted Serial Killer

Carnage made his Marvel debut in Issue #344 of Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1, from February 1991, when he was still the human named Cletus Kasady. But, he'd lost the privilege of being called “human” long before. In his Venom debut, he seems proud to speak openly about being a serial murderer as soon as Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) steps into his San Quentin cell.

A display at 2018's New York Comic Con (via Comicbook) notes that Cletus Kasady’s deadly history within Sony’s Spider-Man Universe of Characters dates back to the Brooklyn native’s childhood when he tortured his mother’s dog to death before killing his own grandmother. He was sent to live at St. Estes Home for Boys, where he was suspected of starting a fire that killed the disciplinary administrator, and he also pushed a girl who said no to a date in front of a bus. He was caught after causing a New York massacre that killed 11. We’ll likely learn more in Venom: Let There Be Carnage during Cletus’ interview with Eddie.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Eddie Brock Is The Only Journalist Cletus Kasady Will Speak To

While I mentioned earlier that Cletus Kasady appears almost boastful when discussing his homicidal nature, for him to speak so openly was apparently a rarity beforehand. As a conversation with a San Quentin prison guard in the Venom end-credits scene reveals, the convict personally requested to be interviewed by Eddie Brock, which the journalist points out is “the one and only time he’ll ever speak to anyone.”

The first official Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer indicates that it has been a while since Eddie Brock visited the killer, who wants him to be the one to tell his story before he reaches the end of his time on death row. At another moment from the promo, you can hear Kasady claim that he and Brock are “the same.” Of course, he does not realize just how true that statement will soon become.

Carnage in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Cletus Kasady Becomes Carnage Through Biting Eddie Brock

In the newest Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer, released on August 2, 2021, not only are we given a clearer image of Woody Harrelson transformation into Carnage, but the cause is also revealed. During another visit to Cletus Kasady’s cell in San Quentin, Eddie Brock is stunned when the killer reaches out to him, pulls his hand through the bars, and sinks his teeth into his palm. The moment also proves surprising to Kasady who, claiming to know what human blood tastes like, is convinced that he tasted something else when he bit Brock.

The trailer then cuts to Cletus Kasady being put to death, which is interrupted by his gruesome metamorphosis, which leads to the escape he predicted in Venom. It also confirms that when Kasady bit Eddie Brock, he tasted the Symbiote, which bonded to him in that moment, unleashing Carnage on San Quentin. It is as if the slimy alien entity gave life to the sadistic nature within, to form a creature that even freaks Venom out.

Tom Hardy as Venom in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Venom Appears Hesitant To Battle With Carnage

The first Venom, which was helmed by Woody Harrelson’s Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer, was, like many superhero movies today, not without its comedy. Most of its funniest moments came out of the mismatched bromance between Eddie Brock and Venom (both portrayed by Tom Hardy). The first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage immediately promised the sequel would show more of that dynamic and the second trailer teased how their relationship affects the battle against Cletus Kasady.

As Carnage emerges from his terrestrial host in an abandoned church, Venom immediately recedes back into his - much to Eddie Brock’s chagrin. Brock is forced to promise his symbiotic partner in crime that he go back on his rule about not letting him eat people as indiscriminately if he comes back out to fight. However, I must say that, with Carnage’s ability to grow multiple tentacles and shape deadly weaponry out of his limbs, I would be afraid to fight the “red one,” too.

Naomie Harris as Shriek in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Carnage Has An Ally In Naomie Harris’ Shriek

Not that he really needs the help, obviously, but Cletus Kasady will not be alone in his vengeful tirade on New York City. Also in the Venom: Let There Be Carnage cast is fellow Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris, who is seen in brief glimpses from the trailers demonstrating abilities in sound manipulation, hinting at her role as Shriek in the sequel.

We can infer from the Marvel villain’s history in the comics that Shriek and Carnage will engage in a partnership that is both romantic and professional - criminally speaking, that is. Ironically, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson played characters with a similar relationship, but on the opposite side of the law. In the 2004 crime thriller After the Sunset, Harris played a police officer and Harrelson an FBI agent who become close while going after a pair of notorious jewel thieves (Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek) who claim to have retired.

Is there a more exciting way for two previous onscreen lovers to reunite than in one of the most anticipated 2021 movies? We will just have to see how their romance pans out this time when Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theaters, which is currently scheduled to happen on Friday, October 15.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.