‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’: Release date, trailer and everything else we know about the Sony superhero movie

Venom: Let There Be Carnage
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the anticipated sequel to 2018’s Venom starring Tom Hardy as the popular Marvel comics anti-hero. Not beloved by critics, nevertheless Venom became a box-office smash for Sony Pictures and many praised the performance from Hardy, pulling double duty as Eddie Brock and the voice of Venom.

However, it was a bit of a bumpy road for the sequel to get to theaters. To find out why, as well as everything we know about Venom: Let There Be Carnage, keep on reading.

Who is Venom?

Venom is a Marvel comics character that is most famous for his appearances with Spider-Man. Venom is an sentient alien symbiote that crash lands on Earth. He is able to fuse with a host, giving that person enhanced powers but also using them for his own goals.

Venom was initially a villain who attempted to fuse with Spider-Man before moving on to the character Eddie Brock, who would become an arch-nemesis of the web crawler. However, Venom’s arc eventually had him become an anti-hero figure and one of the more popular characters at Marvel.

The character first appeared on film in Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 3, where the above storyline essentially played out, with Topher Grace portraying Eddie Brock. Fans are more fond of Hardy’s version of Eddie and Venom, however.

What is the plot of ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’?

The original Venom introduced the symbiote and the start of his parasitic relation with Eddie Brock. Venom: Let There Be Carnage picks up with the two still trying to find the balance of living together.

They’ll need to figure it out quick though, as the serial killer Cletus Kasady takes an interest in Eddie. He eventually reveals that he is also a symbiote that goes by the name Carnage and he is perhaps even more dangerous than Venom.

Who is in the ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ cast?

As mentioned, Tom Hardy handles the dual lead role of Eddie Brock/Venom. Hardy has really taken ownership of the franchise; in addition to starring he helped develop the story for the sequel along with screenwriter Kelly Marcel and is a producer on the film.

Joining Hardy in the film is Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady/Carnage, Naoime Harris as Shriek, Stephen Graham as Detective Mulligan and Reid Scott as Dr. Dan Lewis. Returning from the original film is Michelle Williams as Eddie’s ex-girlfriend Anne Weying and Peggy Lu as Mrs. Chen, the owner of the convenience story that Eddie/Venom like to frequent.

Expert motion-capture performer Andy Serkis is not credited with a role in the film, but is instead on board serving as its director.

When is the ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ release date?

Here is primarily where the bumps have happened with Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Originally expected to come out sometime in 2020, the sequel was delayed like most big tentpole films because of the pandemic. Sony Pictures set it for a Sept. 24, 2021, release date, before opting to move it to Oct. 15.

However, Venom: Let There Be Carnage moved again, though this time it was good news for eager fans, as the film was moved up two weeks to to Oct. 1. 

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is still playing in a few theaters, but it will soon be making its move to at-home viewing with the recently announced release date for digital on Nov. 23 and DVD on Dec. 14.

Is there a ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ trailer?

The first full trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage is available, with Carnage making a big impression not only to fans but to Venom as well. Give it a watch below. 

Are there 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' reviews?

Reviews are in on Venom: Let There Be Carnage including from What to Watch's own Matt Donato.

In his review, Donato says that Venom: Let There Be Carnage could be the best rom-com of 2021. That might sound odd about a movie in the superhero genre, but Donato praises Hardy's commitment to playing both Eddie Brock and voicing the symbiote Venom to create a unique on-scree pairing. The movie overall though, that's another issue.

Is ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ an MCU film?

This is a tricky question. Sony Pictures Entertainment has owned Spider-Man and associated characters (including Venom) since 1998. This is why the web-slinger never appeared in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film prior to Sony and Marvel’s historic deal in 2015 that led to Tom Holland taking on the role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony still has the full rights and majority of profits for Spider-Man, with Marvel essentially leasing him.

The deal, however, does not include Venom or any other characters from the Spider-Man comics. This means that Venom, as well as other upcoming movies for Morbius and others, is entirely a Sony property. It also means that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man could actually appear in any of these Sony movies and it still would not technically qualify as part of the MCU.

So, sorry, but don’t expect Venom getting into a fight with the Hulk any time soon.

Will there be a third ‘Venom’ movie?

Sony has not officially greenlit a third Venom movie, but that is not stopping Tom Hardy from thinking ahead. 

In an interview with Esquire magazine, Hardy revealed that he is brainstorming ideas for a third movie, though he acknowledges that any OK from Sony will be dependent on Venom: Let There Be Carnage’s success, but he believes that the studio is pleased with the sequel.

As far as what could happen in a third movie, be aware SPOILERS are below.

The post-credits scene for Venom: Let There Be Carnage opened up a massive opportunity for the franchise, as it seems that Eddie and Venom go through some kind of portal that puts them in the same universe as Tom Holland's Spider-Man. So we could very likely see the two face off in any future film.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.