Shortly after rumors began to emerge that Cheers and The Hunger Games veteran Woody Harrelson will play the villain in Sony's forthcoming Venom movie, the character's creator expressed measured enthusiasm for the report.
Entertainment reporter Matt Adler tagged Carnage co-creator David Michelinie on Facebook, asking for his opinion on the casting report. After admitting that he had initially assumed the rumors to be an April Fools Day hoax, Michelinie seemed to warm to the idea.
"Harrelson's a good actor, and has a decent range," Michelinie answered. "He's played nutso characters in the past, but I guess we'll have to wait until October to see just how far he can ramp it up. Fingers crossed."
Carnage was originally created as the "Spawn of Venom." Venom was the result of the merging of disgraced photojournalist Eddie Brock and an alien symbiote that had briefly served as Spider-Man's costume.
In the comics, Brock blamed Peter Parker, a competitor for freelance gigs at the Daily Bugle, for his downfall, while the symbiote was stung from being rejected by Spider-Man -- who tried to get rid of the alien being once he realized that his fancy new black costume was actually a living thing.
After a number of altercations with Spider-Man, Brock found himself separated from the Venom symbiote and doing time in jail. His cellmate, Cletus Kasady, was a notorious serial killer. When the costume itself came to break Brock out of prison, it left behind what appeared to be a tiny portion of itself but later turned out to be its offspring. That offspring merged with Kasady to create Carnage, a leaner and more brutal take on the Venom concept.
Venom, created by Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, quickly became so wildly popular that Marvel had a clever idea: his beef wasn't with the world in general but Spider-Man in specific. Thus, he could become the kind of ultra-violent antihero that was becoming popular at the time, since Brock still had a conscience and a soul when he wasn't trying to get revenge on Parker/Spider-Man.
Carnage was their opportunity to take Venom's general look and power set and apply it to a sadistic, remorseless villain who could not be redeemed. Ultimately he would become the first in a long line of symbiote spawns, but Carnage was always the one that hung around.2comments
In his first story arc as a major villain, Spider-Man even dug Venom out of "retirement" -- Brock and the symbiote had been fooled into believing Spider-Man was dead and were living peacefully on a remote island -- to help him battle his offspring.
Venom is set to hit theaters on October 5. The film is directed by Ruben Fleischer and stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Riz Ahmed, and Jenny Slate.