Sony’s take on the classic Spider-man anti-hero Venom was a bit of a surprise when it hit back in 2018: a chaotic and violent superhero film, but one saved by an entertaining performance from Tom Hardy.
Now Sony’s back for another outing, introducing another classic supervillain, Carnage. Judging from the trailer, it looks as though it’s leaning more heavily into the supervillain goofiness, along with the violence and gore that’s associated with the characters.
Venom was introduced in the Spider-Man comics, an alien symbiote that came to Earth and briefly attached itself to Peter Parker before landing on journalist Eddie Brock. For Sony’s latest take on the character, they stripped out the Spider-Man origin story, with Brock coming into contact with Venom on his own.
The first film saw Brock (Tom Hardy) investigating a bio-engineering company called Life Foundation when he’s overtaken by the symbiote. It tells him that it and its companions were looking for a new home to feed on, and that the two can work together: Brock get to be a host with superpowers, and Venom gets to eat the violent criminals who get in their way.
At the end of the film, an end credits scene revealed serial killer named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who promised “carnage” when he got out of prison. It’s in this trailer that we get to see a bit of an origin story for the villain: During an interview, he bites Brock and gets infected. Now armed with his own symbiote enhancements, he kills his guards and gets out, and it’s up to Venom to stop him.
There’s a tendency for superhero films to take themselves too seriously as they wallow in the grittiness and darkness. Venom certainly had its moments, but it looks as though director Andy Serkis is really leaning into some of the inherent goofiness of the superhero genre: Brock and Venom’s bickering as they share a body brings along a lot of lighter moments, especially once they come up against Kasady/Carnage.
The film was set to hit theaters in October of last year, but because of COVID-19, it’s now slated to debut in theaters on September 15th in the UK, and on September 24th in the United States.