Carnage is coming.
Mystery has surrounded Sony’s upcoming R-rated superhero movie Venom, starring Tom Hardy in the titular role as one of Spider-Man’s deadliest enemies. The teaser trailer briefly showed snippets of Hardy as Venom’s alter ego Eddie Brock, while Michelle Williams was briefly shown as his fiancée, Ann Weying.
But the trailer did little to satisfy confused fans, namely with what the movie’s premise is, how Hardy looks suited up as Venom, and perhaps most perplexingly, who is the villain?
Last year, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Carnage was going to be Venom’s big baddie for his upcoming movie. For months, fans were speculating who was cast in the role, even guessing that it might have been Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed before the teaser trailer confirmed he was portraying a different character.
Now, fans are turning to a new face looking for Carnage: “True Detective” actor Woody Harrelson might be playing the iconic Venom villain.
Harrelson’s involvement with the project was originally hinted at in December of last year, with Variety reporting that Harrelson was being considered as a henchman for the film.
But rumors online are now claiming that Harrelson’s role is much deeper than that, tied instead to playing the serial killer-turned-supervillain in Carnage.
In the comics, mass murderer Cletus Kasady shared a jail cell with Eddie Brock on Rikers Island before the alien symbiote snuck in and bonded with Brock, breaking him free and freaking out an understandably shaken Cletus Kasady. Unbeknownst to them both, however, Brock’s symbiote gave birth to an offspring that later bonded with Kassady, turning him into the super-serial killer known as Carnage. He was such a powerful foe that Venom had to team up with his arch-nemesis Spider-Man to defeat him.
If these rumors prove to be true, Harrelson is the perfect choice to portray Kasady. He’s played maniacal characters in film many times before, from Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, to officer Dave Brown in Rampart, to the Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes. He’s also worked with Venom director Ruben Fleischer before on the undead action-comedy film Zombieland, playing the gun-loving, Twinkie-obsessed zombie hunter named Tallahassee. He possesses both the talent and the wackiness to portray a character as insane as Carnage, and the rumored casting seems like a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on which symbiote you ask).
Regardless of whether this casting rumor is proven to be true or not, the film will mark the second film debut of Spider-Man’s black-suited nemesis (the first being Topher Grace’s appearance in 2007’s Spider-Man 3), and is expected to launch its own cinematic universe for Sony Pictures. It is currently unknown whether Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will make a cameo appearance from the Marvel Cinematic Universe or not.
Venom is scheduled to be released on October 5.