Two films into the wacky world of «Venom,» it looks as if things are poised to change in a major, multi-faceted way.
[Editor’s note: The following post contains spoilers for both “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and its post-credits scene.]
Part of the charm and the tension of the Tom Hardy-starring “Venom” franchise has been its relative disinterest in lacing its action with that of both Sony’s own Spider-Man franchise and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote (AKA Venom) who infects (and then charms?) him are long-established members of the Spider-Man fracas, both as antagonists and pals. And while both “Venom” and its new sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” mostly exist outside the increasingly convoluted world of both Spidey and his Avengers pals, even these wonderfully zany features have to provide a few nods to the wider world.
And, now two films into the wacky world of “Venom,” it looks like that’s poised to change, at least if the long post-credits (technically a mid-credits) scene in the Andy Serkis-directed feature is to be believed. The original “Venom” included two post-credits scenes that also tipped their cap to the wider Spidey-verse and MCU, too: one scene set up a classic villain for Eddie and Venom to fight (Carnage, played in both the first film and this sequel by Woody Harrelson), while the other winked at the animated delights of “Into the Spider-Verse,” which was due to hit theaters in the months following the release of “Venom.”
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When it comes to “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” in just a single post-credits scene, similar aims are met: setting up what’s to come for Eddie and Venom, and making it clear those events are not so far removed from a whole mess of other cinematic offerings.
[One more time: Spoilers ahead for both “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” and its post-credits scene.]
When the film ends, Carnage has been vanquished, Eddie and Venom have reaffirmed their dedication to each other, and San Francisco has been left in the dust (how could our dynamic duo possibly stay there safely after yet another smash-em-up final sequence?). Our final shot, pre-credits, finds Eddie and Venom sharing a sunset on the beach, toes tucked into the sand, hair blowing in the breeze, wondering what’s to come next.
Mid-credits, we get a hell of an answer: as Eddie and Venom relax in a particularly, well, economical hotel room somewhere in Latin America, the pair enjoy the dramatic charms of a local telenovela. Venom is especially taken with the problems that long-hidden secrets inspire in the soapy series, and says as such to Eddie.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures
“We all have a past, Eddie,” the symbiote tells his host/BFF, which comes as something of a surprise, as Eddie has labored under the delusion that Venom has shared everything with him. Sure, Eddie! As he soon reminds Eddie, Venom’s consciousness is part of a larger alien symbiote hive mind, one filled to the brim with knowledge garnered through thousands and thousands of years of existence. That’s not the sort of thing you just toss into a normal human’s noggin, so yes, Venom has been hiding some of his past from Eddie.
But perhaps, Venom wonders, he might share just a fraction of it: which he does, with Hardy ably portraying a mind-blown Eddie (all jittery, eyes rolling, freaked out mania) as Venom shows him things the audience can’t see. That’s wild enough, but what happens after is the kicker. Just as Eddie is coming back down to (mental) Earth, the scene shifts: suddenly, the duo aren’t in a trashy hotel room, they’re tucked up inside a lavish luxury suite. The world, it appears, has changed, or maybe the universe has.
While Venom hastens to tell Eddie that their little mind-meld is not at all responsible for what has just happened — talk about incredibly bad timing — the television flicks from telenovela to a special edition of the “Daily Bugle” news program, complete with an EXCLUSIVE! shot of Tom Holland as our current-day Spider-Man, looking utterly baffled in the middle of Manhattan.
As has long been rumored, Marvel is leaning more into its multiverses in recent works — “Spider-Man: Far from Home” used it as a ruse turned real, while the “Loki” series basically ripped it wide open — and both the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” are expected to hinge on the introduction of more universes, more timelines, and more heroes (like, say, Venom and Eddie?). Our silly duo have so far lived far outside the realm of all those other superhero stars, perhaps because they…literally lived outside their actual realm? For now, it seems, that has changed forever.
(Never fear, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ends on a predictably wacky note, as the real guest of the fancy hotel suite pops out of the bathroom to ask Eddie just who the hell he is. Welp, more like where the hell is he, but that’s a question for another time, or at least another movie or two.)
A Sony Pictures release, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is in theaters now.
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