Carnage poster

Before Tom Hardy starred in the surprise Sony Pictures Entertainment success Venom, most of the movie-going audience didn’t know Eddie Brock.  But after Marvel Studios kept delivering very similar takes on its 50-70 years of superheroes, anti-heroes, and villains, the 2018 movie (reviewed here) was a refreshing surprise, which stands up to re-watching much better than many contemporary Marvel movies.  Why?  It didn’t take itself seriously, and it featured Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams–two actors with plenty of critical acclaim behind them.  They infused a great chemistry into their characters’ relationship and made the darker side of Marvel great fun for all ages.  Now, will the addition of Woody Harrelson’s golden touch make the autumn theatrical release Venom: Let There Be Carnage another blast for genre fans like he brought to Solo: A Star Wars Story?  It sure looks like it.  Check out the first trailer for the movie below and see if you agree.  It was shared this week by Sony along with the official poster (above).

Hardy returns to the role of the once anti-hero/now hero Eddie, seen only once taking on the black tar-like goo suit before by those who made it to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3.  That film featured That ’70s Show’s Topher Grace in the role.  Kids in the 1980s first witnessed the genesis of the character in the wildly popular Marvel Comics mini-series Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, Issue #8, by writer Jim Shooter and artist Mike Zeck.  Most kids appreciated the new look.  Originally intended to give Spider-Man a new black and white costume, the story became one about a symbiotic suit that attached to Spider-Man, which went on to attach to Eddie, who became Spidey’s Public Enemy #1 as the very Todd McFarlane-styled character known as Venom in later stories.  McFarlane’s style is all over this new trailer.

Sony Pictures Entertainment’s sequel, directed by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis, with a story by Venom screenwriter Kelly Marcel, showcases the humor of what made the first film great: more arguments between Eddie and his Venom side, a return to the corner grocery, and now with the introduction of Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, who audiences got a peek at in the post-credits cameo.  Hardy has earned his sea legs in genredom.  He was only one of a handful of actors to play a Star Trek villain in the movies, starring as the Captain Picard clone Shinzon in Star Trek Nemesis.  He reprised Mel Gibson’s Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road, and in that other giant comic book franchise he played the B-team villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.  Along the way he proved himself in several dramatic roles, in the likes of Band of Brothers, Black Hawk Down, Layer Cake, Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and as the World War II flying ace of the current Oscar-nominated film Dunkirk.  

Wait no further: Check out the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage:

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in theaters September 24, 2021.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg