The first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage has arrived, and it certainly seems as though the franchise has committed to the direction it wishes to head. Critic opinions be damned, it appears Tom Hardy's Venom franchise will border on the comedic to outright hilarious bent and keep Eddie Brock as the guy who's better than he once was, but still more or less a victim in the entire thing.
With this latest look at the character, I have to ask: will Venom ever become a villain? It seems like a relevant question given the character's past tussles with Spider-Man and representation in movies, animation and comics. Here's what I think is going on, what it could mean for the Spider-Man franchise and whether we can ever expect to see Spidey and Venom go toe-to-toe.
Why Venom Has Presented Eddie Brock As A Good Guy
If you were someone who was confused by Eddie Brock being a decent human being when you saw Venom, you probably haven't been following Marvel Comics for a while. While it is true that the character was once one of Spider-Man's greatest enemies, in more recent years, Venom has become an anti-hero of sorts in the Marvel universe.
Moreover, there's long been a discrepancy across the life of the character of whether it's Eddie Brock or his sentient symbiote that's the villain. At times, both have soured on Peter Parker and sought to get revenge on him, though there are other tellings in which Brock is heavily influenced by his symbiote's power and mind. There are even instances in which Brock is portrayed as a good man who is ultimately helpless to the symbiote.
In the Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer, it seems as though Eddie and the symbiote have reached a better understanding than they may have had in the original movie. Eddie also seems able to keep the symbiote in check, as evidenced by when the symbiote wanted to eat the convenience store owner after she slighted him on chocolate. The symbiote definitely has a mind of its own, but for now, it's subservient to Eddie Brock. For that reason, Eddie seemingly remains a good guy in his universe.
Could Tom Hardy's Venom Ever Turn Evil?
Based on our latest look at Tom Hardy's Venom, it seems like he's a far cry from the villainous Venom we've seen across other Marvel projects. The footage makes it appear as though Eddie has some ground rules with the symbiote, and while we see some acts of independence, like the breakfast scene, his black, gooey buddy seems largely compliant.
With that said, there have been instances in Marvel lore where Eddie Brock has been more of a victim to the symbiote, and it was capable of exerting full control over his body. Eddie Brock may be a good guy, but if Venom is willing to eat anybody he feels has wronged him, things can get hairy for the character really quick.
There's an interesting line in the Venom: Let There Be Carnage trailer where Cletus Kasady tells Eddie that they are the same. Now obviously the two both hold a symbiote within their bodies, but if Kasady truly felt that way, perhaps he knows something about that experience that Eddie doesn't? Is Kasady just a deranged psychopath, or is he onto something when he tells Brock the two are alike?
Will Tom Holland's Spider-Man And Venom Ever Meet?
I think we can all agree that if Tom Hardy's Venom never meets Tom Holland's Spider-Man, it's more or less irrelevant if he ever becomes a villain. After all, part of the reason I want Venom to go full-villain is so that he'd be on Spider-Man's radar, and the two would eventually battle one another.
While there have been unconfirmed rumors that there's a Venom vs. Spider-Man movie in development, but for now, there's nothing to confirm that. We have heard in the past from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige that while he doesn't know Sony's exact plans for the characters in that universe, he felt it was likely the two would meet at some point.
Spider-Man and Venom crossing paths may come sooner than later, given the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Eagle-eyed viewers already noticed a bunch of references to Spider-Man and his universe within the movie, and while there's no indication that Tom Holland has a cameo in the upcoming superhero smackdown, the references could indeed be confirmation that the two are on a collision course. When exactly that will happen, we can't be sure, but given Tom Hardy hasn't been spotted or confirmed to be part of Spider-Man: No Way Home, I think we can count that out.
How Venom: Let There Be Carnage Could Tease An Eventual Spider-Man Showdown
For Venom to get into the world of Spider-Man, there has to be some narrative reason for Eddie Brock's character to leave San Francisco and track everyone's favorite Web-Slinger down in New York City. At the moment, that's not something I see happening. Eddie is just trying to hold his own life together and live with the Venom symbiote, so why would he go and pick a fight with a hero?
We've already touched on the possibility that Venom: Let There Be Carnage could feature some twist that turns Eddie Brock or the symbiote into a villain. It's also possible that Eddie, perhaps misguided and fooled like the rest of the world in Spider-Man's bubble right now, comes fresh off his battle with Carnage and realizes there's someone equally as tough for him to conquer in New York. I mean, from the perspective of many in the Spider-Man universe, Spidey is a criminal who murdered the great Mysterio!
If I were to lean on a theory in which Eddie Brock is set to go after Spider-Man, I think it would be under the premise that Eddie believes Spidey is a villain. This fits with the modern trope of heroes colliding before ultimately uniting against a bigger enemy. Plus, I do think Sony wants to ultimately keep Eddie Brock an anti-hero, if only because that allows for more movies for the character than an outright villainous turn would.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is set to release Friday, September 24. At this point, we can be relatively sure that Venom and Spider-Man will not meet in this movie, but keep an eye out on CinemaBlend for other updates concerning the two going forward.