Maximum Carnage Should be Sony's Event Movie
Sony is just one of many studios attempting to mimic Marvel by creating a shared cinematic universe. The ultimate goal in such a shared universe, of course, is that plotlines can intersect and characters can interact with one another. In the MCU, that traditionally happens in the main Avengers franchise; movies that come at the end of each "phase" and see the heroes team up against a big bad. Sony would be wise to mimic this approach, introducing their key characters in a range of solo films, and then bringing them together against the threat of Carnage. Thus, Maximum Carnage would become the Sony Spider-villain equivalent of The Avengers.
This would be a far better approach than simply using this plot in Venom 2, with the other heroes/antiheroes acting as secondary characters. Sony will be hoping that every one of their movies will resonate with viewers and that all of these characters - including the likes of Nightwatch and Black Cat - will build their own fanbases. An event movie honors that idea in a way that simple cameos don't. It also constructs a clear sense of momentum; the Sony Spider-villain universe begins with Venom, and then peaks with a story in which the symbiotes go out of control.
But there is one major problem with this idea; the absence of Spider-Man. There's simply no way Marvel Studios would be happy for Tom Holland's PG-13 Spider-Man to appear in these films. That means some fans will be frustrated at this, wishing Sony would leave Maximum Carnage for the MCU. And yet, that's simply not feasible; Maximum Carnage is off-brand for Marvel Studios, so it's highly unlikely the MCU will ever explore this arc. There's a sense of bleak nihilism in the actual story, one that just doesn't fit with the lively, energetic tone of the MCU's Spider-Man films; to adapt it would be to change it.
That leaves a Spider-Man-sized hole in the Maximum Carnage event nevertheless. After all, the comic book arc is centered upon a philosophical question of whether or not Spider-Man should kill. None of the characters Sony is considering have any qualms about killing, so that moral quandary is gone. How can Sony still make the movie work?
Silk Should be the Hero of Maximum Carnage
The solution may lie in another of Spider-Man's secondary characters, Silk. Created by Dan Slott back in 2014, the character of Silk is another person who was bitten by that famous radioactive spider; she has powers that are roughly equivalent to Spider-Man's, although she has biological webbing as well. Silk was forced into hiding for years, for fear of attracting the attention of an extradimensional race known as the Inheritors, but emerged from the shadows during 2014's Original Sin storyline. She's quite a popular secondary character, and has even been star of her own solo series, which saw her interacting with the Marvel Universe's criminal underworld. Silk even wound up going undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D. as an agent of the Black Cat, who was acting as a crime boss at the time.
Silk would be the perfect character to fill that Spider-Man-shaped void. Unlike the other characters Sony is developing, Silk is an out-and-out superhero, complete with the hangups about killing. That means she could easily become the moral linchpin of the anti-Carnage team, the yin to Venom's yang, attempting to keep her violent allies in check. The moral challenges posed by Maximum Carnage are back - meaning we have an actual story again, not just an excuse for action scenes. Given a Silk movie is in development, the legwork is already underway.
It's surely unlikely to be a coincidence that Sony is moving the pieces into place for the Maximum Carnage plot. So far, audiences have focused on the idea that Carnage will be the villain in the Venom sequel, but the truth may be that the studio is looking to create something much more potent and powerful than that. Sony could easily be attempting to mimic the MCU's successful pattern - and preparing the way for the ultimate brutal, violent Spider-villains movie.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018