After its main credits, Venom drops sequel bait with its mid-credits scene introduction of a famed Spider-Man character.
Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), having fully bonded with the inky alien parasite named Venom, returns to his street-beat duties as an investigative reporter. With notebook pad and pen in hand, he pilots his motorcycle to San Francicso’s San Quentin prison to interview a dangerous inmate — Eddie’s next big story.
Deep in the belly of the prison, a mouthy guard leads Eddie down shadow-clad hallways.
“You ask me, they’re dumb to let him call the shots. The second he asked for you to interview him, I’d have shut that shit down,” the guard says.
Eddie explains the FBI is “just taking advantage of the one and only time he’ll ever speak to anyone. They’re hoping I might help them identify some additional bodies.”
“FBI don’t work up close and personal with him. The FBI will have to identify you, you don’t follow the rules,” the guard warns, opening a door and unveiling a caged and shackled inmate (Woody Harrelson). The inmate has the room to himself.
“Hey, Red. I got a visitor for you.”
Brock steps in. He peers through the bars of the cell as a gleeful maniac with red curls flashes a smile.
“Hi, Eddie,” the inmate says. Brock offers a simple and unimpressed “hey” back.
“Do you mind if we forego the whole creepy serial killer thing here?” the inmate asks.
“Sure,” Eddie says, shrugging. “It’s good with me.”
The inmate says he can “turn it on if you want,” offering to go into detail about the patterns of arterial spray.
“I bet you can,” Eddie tells him.
“Tough to see you in this light, Eddie,” the inmate says. “Come on over.”
Eddie takes a step forward. Ta-da. “Alright. I’m here.”
The inmate turns more serious.
“I get outta here — and I will — there’s gonna be carnage.”
Though he goes unnamed, the red-haired and unrepentant serial killer is Cletus Kasady, who in the Marvel Comics bonds with his own blood-colored symbiote to become the supervillain Spider-Man enemy known as Carnage. There, Kasady once shared a cell with an imprisoned Eddie Brock after his defeat at the hands of the web-slinger, then the object of both Eddie and Venom’s seething hatred.
After a pregnant Venom symbiote sprung Eddie from prison, its spawn latched onto and bonded with Kasady, who swiftly emerged as a worsened homicidal maniac — calling themselves Carnage — possessing powers dwarfing those of both Spider-Man and Venom.
Harrelson characterized his cameo appearance as a “roll of the dice,” telling Collider he’ll “be in the next one.”
“I haven’t read that script, but anyways, just rolled the dice,” Harrelson said.4comments
The role reteams Harrelson with his Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and Carnage is expected to be the leading threat should Venom spawn a sequel. Sony has already signed Hardy for a three-movie deal as they hope to launch the first franchise in their own Spider-Man-less shared universe.
Venom is now playing.