Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a 2021 American superhero
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a 2021 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Venom, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the second film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and the sequel to Venom (2018). The film is directed by Andy Serkis from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on a story she wrote with Tom Hardy who stars as Eddie Brock / Venom alongside Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, and Woody Harrelson. In the film, Brock struggles to adjust to life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, while serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) escapes from prison after becoming the host of Carnage, a chaotic spawn of Venom.
Venom was intended to be the start of a new shared universe, and plans for a sequel began during production on the first film. Harrelson was cast to make a brief appearance as Kasady at the end of Venom with the intention of him becoming the villain Carnage in the sequel. Official work on the sequel began in January 2019, with Hardy and Harrelson confirmed to return along with Marcel as writer. Serkis was hired as director that August, partly due to his experience working with CGI and motion-capture technology which was an important part of portraying Venom and Carnage in the film. Filming took place at Leavesden Studios in England from November 2019 to February 2020, with additional filming in San Francisco in February. The title was announced in April 2020. The film was primarily inspired by the comic book story arc “Maximum Carnage” (1993) and the 1994 Spider-Man animated series story arc The Venom Saga (1996).
Venom: Let There Be Carnage premiered in London on September 14, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 1, 2021. It was delayed from an initial October 2020 date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film has grossed over $103 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, although it was generally considered an improvement over Venom.
In 1996, a young Cletus Kasady watches helplessly as his love, Frances Barrison, is taken away from St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children to the Ravencroft Institute. On the way, she uses her sonic scream powers to escape and attacks young police officer Patrick Mulligan. He shoots Barrison in the eye and suffers an injury to his ear. Unbeknownst to Mulligan, who believes he killed her, Barrison is taken to the facility, which is hardened against her powers.
In the present day, Mulligan, now a detective, contacts Eddie Brock to speak to Kasady, a serial killer who refuses to talk to anyone other than Brock. After the visit, Brock is able to figure out where Kasady has hidden the body of victims, which gives him a huge career boost. Kasady, who is sentenced to lethal injection, invites Brock to attend his execution. However, Venom is provoked to attack Kasady via insults towards Brock. Kasady bites Brock’s hand, ingesting a small part of the symbiote. Brock is contacted by his ex-fiancée Anne Weying, who tells him that she is now engaged to Dr. Dan Lewis.
Kasady’s execution fails when a red symbiote emerges and blocks the injection. It introduces himself as Carnage and goes on a violent rampage through the prison, freeing inmates and killing the guards. Kasady and Carnage then make a deal: Carnage will help Kasady break out Barrison from Ravencroft, and Kasady will help him eliminate Venom. Mulligan calls Brock and warns him about the situation. Meanwhile, Venom, wanting more freedom to eat people, has an argument with Brock and detaches from his body; they go their different ways. In Ravencroft, Kasady frees Barrison, and they travel to their old children’s home to burn it down.
Mulligan, suspicious of Brock due to his interactions with Kasady before Carnage emerged, takes Brock to the police station. Brock refuses to answer Mulligan’s questions and contacts Weying as his lawyer. Brock reveals that Venom has separated from him and needs the symbiote to fight Carnage together. As Venom makes his way through San Francisco by hopping from body to body, Weying finds and convinces him to forgive Brock. She bonds with Venom and breaks Brock out of the police station. Brock and Venom make amends and bond again.
Kasady takes Mulligan hostage, and Barrison captures Weying after failing to find Brock. Barrison gives Lewis information on Weying’s whereabouts, and he gives it to Brock. Kasady and Barrison plan to get married at a cathedral, where Venom appears and fights Carnage. Barrison seemingly kills Mulligan with her sonic powers. Venom struggles to overpower Carnage but learns that he and Kasady are not cohesive as Carnage attacks Barrison for using her powers. Venom provokes Barrison to use her powers again; her sonic blast causes both symbiotes to separate from their hosts as the cathedral collapses and a falling bell kills Barrison.
Venom saves Brock by bonding with him before the impact. Carnage tries to bond with Kasady again, but Venom devours the symbiote, killing it. Kasady states that he only wanted Brock to be a friend, but Venom bites Kasady’s head off. While Brock, Venom, Weying, and Lewis escape, a still-living Mulligan’s eyes flash blue. Brock and Venom decide to take a tropical vacation while they ponder their next steps. As Venom tells Brock about the symbiotes’ knowledge of other universes, a blinding light transports them from their hotel room to another room where they watch J. Jonah Jameson reveal Spider-Man’s identity as Peter Parker on television.