Sony's Spider-Villain movies should follow the Marvel Avengers pattern, building to a climax in a Maximum Carnage film. The studio's deal with Marvel has allowed Tom Holland's Spider-Man to enter the MCU, and it's been a tremendous success so far. But while the wall-crawler himself is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony is still free to make films starring secondary characters associated with Spider-Man - including movies that star members of his rogues' gallery.
The first Spider-villain spinoff will be Venom, due to release on October 5 this year. A wide range of other spinoffs are in the works, too, such as Morbius, starring Jared Leto and reportedly due to start filming later this year. Silver & Black's production has been a little more troubled, and the film's currently on hiatus while the script is reworked. In addition to these villains, Spike Lee is believed to have been tapped as director of the Nightwatch movie, and there have been recent reports that a Silk film is in the works as well.
So far, it all seems pretty random; just why is Sony choosing these particular properties? Are they literally just picking names out of a hat or does the studio have a general direction in mind? The latter may well be the case, because almost all of these characters have one particular thread connecting them.
- This Page: What Actually Is Maximum Carnage?
- Page 2: How Sony's Villains Universe is Heading for Maximum Carnage
Maximum Carnage Explained
Nowadays, comic book readers are used to the idea that they'll regularly be picking up Spider-Man events. Surprisingly, though, until writer Dan Slott's run, these events were few and far between. In fact, 1993's Maximum Carnage was the sole event story in the '90s (the likes of the Clone Saga were regular arcs that got out of control).
Maximum Carnage was one of the most brutal Spider-Man events of all time. Recent comics had introduced the character of Cletus Kasady, a sadistic serial killer who had become host to an alien symbiote and taken on the identity of Carnage. Marvel viewed Carnage as their most dangerous foe, and deliberately positioned him to be the nightmare villain for both Spider-Man and Venom. Artist Erik Larsen designed Carnage's human component to be deliberately reminiscent of the Joker from Batman comics, while the symbiotic form was designed by Mark Bagley. There's a sense in which Carnage was the ultimate superhero villain of the '90s; brutal and violent, he rejoiced in bloodshed and had literally no redeeming features to him. Carnage's one goal in life was to shed as much blood as possible, and he reveled in the chaos he caused.
In Maximum Carnage, Kasady broke out of jail and found himself leader of a group of maniacs, all of whom rejoiced in chaos and bloodshed. With Carnage up front, these villains launched a bloody and violent attack on New York City. Matters were made worse by Carnage's "girlfriend," Shriek, another inmate who possessed the power to generate sonic frequencies that inspires others to violence. With riots blazing across New York, Spider-Man and a group of unlikely allies desperately attempted to bring an end to the bloodshed.
The story's heart was a moral quandary; should Spider-Man actually kill Carnage? The senseless violence tested Spider-Man's belief in humanity to the limit, and matters weren't helped by the fact he had to form some unlikely alliances to fight against his latest foe; Peter Parker was forced to team up with antiheroes like Venom, Morbius, and the Black Cat, while Nightwatch too played a minor role in the story.
As Omega Underground recently noted, Sony's movie plans involve a lot of the characters who are part of Maximum Carnage. Venom, Black Cat, Nightwatch, and Morbius are all being brought into play in the Sony Spider-villains universe. And it's generally believed Woody Harrelson will actually appear as Carnage himself at the tail-end of Venom, teasing a future return. Omega Underground suggests that Maximum Carnage could be the basis for Venom 2, but Sony would be wise to take matters one step further.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018