Sony Pictures unleashed “Venom” on the world over the weekend and in the process made a ton of money despite the negative critical reviews.
When the project began casting, the addition of Riz Ahmed as an unknown villain led to speculation than fan favourite baddie Carnage would be the film’s antagonist. It was later revealed he would be playing Dr. Carlton Drake who becomes the character Riot.
However, the film’s mid-credits scene teases Woody Harrelson as Kletus Casaday, the human who becomes Carnage, suggesting he’s being saved for the sequel. So why wasn’t he used in the first film? Director Ruben Fleischer was asked that question by Collider to which he says:
“We felt strongly that the first movie needed a place to build to, and that by … Carnage is the character I think fans, and everyone wants to see the most, in the Venom world, but we didn’t want to spoil it on the first movie. The first movie is all about Eddie and Venom, and their relationship, and establishing the character. Then from there, it felt like we wanted to give them a place to go. So, choosing their most formidable adversary felt like a great, natural sequel.”
That echoes an approach used in the likes of “Batman Begins,” “Iron Man” and numerous others who often pick a secondary villain with a simple agenda so as to spend screen time on developing the hero for their origin film. With a “Venom 2” essentially guaranteed at this point, we’ll likely see Carnage sometime soon. Producer Avi Arad tells the same outlet that even with Carnage in the mix, a sequel wouldn’t necessarily be an R-rated one:
“When you hear Carnage, the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there’s no R here. He’s a tortured soul. It’s not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation? Was he born like that, or [is he] someone we should feel for, because if you succeeding in making a villain someone you can feel for, jackpot.”
“Venom” scored a $205 million worldwide opening weekend box-office haul with $80 million of that coming from the U.S. domestic market.