BY MATT TUCK
Venom is coming for Spider-Man and the MCU sooner than you think, and he just might bring Knull and Toxin along with him.
IT WAS ALL BUT CONFIRMED TWO YEARS AGO
No, Let There Be Carnage is not part of the MCU, but there are two years’ worth of breadcrumbs that point to Venom versus Spider-Man in the near future. In the meantime, will we get to see Toxin, Knull, or perhaps more She-Venom? Let’s break down the latest Venom news and rumors.
I’m calling it now: Venom 2 will subtly pave the way for Venom to crossover with the MCU, and we’ll finally get Tom Hardy’s Venom versus Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Certainly Venom 2 director Andy Serkis has already shot down any chance of a Tom Holland cameo or even a full-blown MCU connection. However, that does not mean the plan to connect the two franchises is not in the works.
For that matter, Serkis acknowledged that there are plenty of Spider-Man Easter eggs and allusions in the movie. He left the door wide open for that eventuality when he said that while this particular entry is not in the MCU, as for the future, “we’ll wait and see.” I’d be willing to bet that he knows something we don’t on this front, and Marvel chief Kevin Feige keeps a tight rein on what can and can’t be said regarding the MCU’s future. Odds are, Serkis had already been given a list of topics he could or could not discuss, and a Venom/Spider-Man crossover would likely be at the top.
While that is a huge story in itself, there is a lot happening with Let There Be Carnage. We already know that joining Venom and Carnage, we will see Scream, and there are rumors galore that Toxin will be revealed. There’s even a theory that Knull will be teased. Could we see more symbiotes or even the King in Black in Venom: Let There Be Carnage? Time to delve into the rumor mill.
Before 2018’s Venom hit theaters, it was hard to imagine a Venom franchise without Spider-Man. How else would they explain his spider-like power set? For that matter, the character’s angry origins center on Eddie Brock and the symbiote’s mutual hatred for Peter Parker. How did the original movie avoid that? By totally ignoring it all and even leaving off Venom’s trademark white spider. But that may not always be the case.
Despite the movie sidestepping any direct connection to Spidey, director Ruben Fleischer blew minds around the world when he confirmed that, indeed, the movies were leading to a Venom/Spider-Man showdown. “That’s where it’s all going to lead,” he told Fandom in 2019.
THE VERDICT: Like Thanos, this is inevitable...just not yet
Even Kevin Feige has pretty much confirmed this, and he is normally tight-lipped and vague about everything related to the MCU.
Two years ago, he said that a Spider-Man/Venom crossover was likely to happen, though he did say it largely hinged on Sony’s desire to have the characters’ share the spotlight. Keep in mind that Michael Keaton plays his MCU character, Adrian Toomes, in the Morbius trailer, which confirms that Sony is willing to have its characters enter the MCU even after the corporation’s very public spat with Disney in 2019.
The bottom line is that, yes, a Venom/Spider-Man crossover will eventually happen. In all likelihood, the preliminary plans have already been drawn up.
This is the most popular Venom 2 theory floating on the internet. In the trailer, there is a policeman that director Andy Serkis confirmed is named Detective Mulligan. While his first name is not revealed, it is suspected that he is Pat Mulligan from the comics. You might better know him as the original host of the symbiote Toxin. Does that mean that we will see four symbiotes in the movie? The gossip says yes.
VERDICT: Almost a guarantee
Considering that we have a movie that stars Venom and Carnage, and we know Shriek is part of the cast (and that’s not to mention Riot from 2018’s Venom), the franchise will keep adding symbiotes as long as it’s profitable. Hey, it’s worked for the comics, right?
With a character named Mulligan in a movie about sentient, alien costumes, there’s little doubt that Toxin is on the way unless Serkis and the movie’s producers plan to pull a WandaVision “Boehner” troll. Let’s hope not.
Could Knull be coming to Sony’s Venom-verse? IGN seems to think so.
The theory is a bit of a stretch, but it is nonetheless interesting. The idea is that the title, Let There Be Carnage, is meant to be a play on the biblical phrase, “Let there be light,” which was spoken by God in the Book of Genesis. What would be the antithesis to light? Darkness, and the absence of light would point to Knull, who ruled the darkness before there was light in the Marvel Universe. In his fight to preserve the dark, he even forged his celestial sword, All Black, from his symbiotes and beheaded a Celestial, thus creating the Guardians of the Galaxy’s favorite hangout, Knowhere. If Venom is connected to the MCU and if Knull is introduced in Venom 2 (that’s a lot of ifs), then that could be an interesting Easter egg in the Marvel movies.
Another piece of evidence the theory points to is Carnage’s church scene in the new trailer. At the end of the footage, we see Carnage in front of a stained-glass window that we can only assume would be found in a church. That image is parallel to the Skan variant of Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1. The theorist argues that in Carnage’s cult, he recruits other deranged psychopaths all in tribute to Knull, and that could take place in the movie.
VERDICT: Unlikely but fun to think about
At this point, IGN’s theory is wishful thinking.
I have to admit that I am intrigued by this theory, but it requires some mighty leaps in logic. I think the title is more of a nod to Woody Harrelson’s closing line of the Venom post-credits scene, “There will be carnage.” As far as the stained glass window, I see it more as a cool backdrop, and a way to visually help the audience connect Carnage to the ultimate villain, Satan.
People clearly want a live-action Knull, and some fans look anywhere for clues. Don’t forget that this is not the first Knull rumor. In the Helstrom Hulu series, there are red spirals painted on the walls. Since the spiral is Knull’s symbol, fans wondered if those were an allusion to the God of the Symbiotes. Nothing has come of it so far, which leads me to think it was a coincidence.
If there are any deliberate spirals or the lines, “Knull,” or “God is coming,” then I will completely change my tune.
There was a time when the symbiote speculation surrounded Michelle Williams bringing She-Venom to life, and we got to see a hint of what may be things to come. Amidst all the Carnage and Toxin hoopla, it is understandable that She-Venom has been lost in the shuffle as of late. While that talk may have died down, it is time to renew that discussion because Anne Weying could once again get Venomized in the new movie. Who knows? Maybe she will even get her very own symbiote.
In the comics, She-Venom had only a brief appearance in the limited series, Venom: Sinner Takes All. As Anne and Eddie were on the run, she was cornered by a group of assailants. To save her life, Eddie transferred the Venom symbiote to Anne. When the alien costume took hold of her, it forced Anne to brutally murder her attackers. The event was so traumatic that Anne couldn’t live with what she had been forced to do, and she committed suicide.
Of course, she did not seem to have any ill effects from bonding with Venom in the movie, but a new director could mean a new direction for Anne.
THE VERDICT: Plausible
We know that Venom bonds with many human hosts, and it made for an impressive visual when the symbiote merged with Anne to bring a full-fledged She-Venom to life.
While I don’t think the apparently light-hearted “Odd Couple” Venom sequel will go dark enough to have Anne take her own life, we could see some repercussions from her brief-but-violent time with the symbiote. The more likely scenario is that she will either bond with Venom a second time or she will bond with a new symbiote, perhaps even Toxin. Since Eddie will be outnumbered by at least Carnage and Shriek in the movie, he will need backup, and this makes logical sense to “flip the script” and have Anne rescue Eddie.
I have to be honest, the trailer made the film seem a bit too silly for my tastes. Venom cooking and singing? That wasn’t the Venom I fell in love with in 1988. I try to keep in mind that this may not be the overall tone of the movie, and I only hope that Carnage is not played for laughs.
My opinion aside, it is clear Let There Be Carnage has huge aspirations, and I feel certain that by the end credits (and probably the post-credits scene) we will have the seeds planted for something even more exciting.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.