Venom 2 Is Clearly Established
As we've seen, Venom does a solid job of laying the foundations for the Spider-villains shared universe. But what can we expect next? A sequel is definitely on the cards, not least because Tom Hardy is signed up for a three-picture deal; he's also suggested that he's open to extending that contract. Given that's the case, the end of Venom should be seen as the establishment of a new status quo, one that will allow the tongue-slavering antihero to truly become San Francisco's "Lethal Protector." Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have struck a deal; the symbiote will only chow down on the bad guys, making Venom a dangerously brutal antihero.
Meanwhile, two other elements from Venom clearly seem to be looking to the future. The first is Anne Weying's brief stint as She-Venom, which is surely a hint of things to come. Although Eddie doesn't notice it, the symbiote appears just as interested in getting Ann back as he is, and possibly for its own reasons; in the comics, Anne was far less restrained when bonded with the symbiote, even going on a brutal killing spree that she blamed on the Venom symbiote. It's possible Anne has a little more darkness in her soul than she likes to admit, and that the symbiote enjoyed liked it. If that's the case, we can expect the sequel to involve the symbiote switching between Ann and Eddie a few times.
Of course, the second key setup is Carnage. Director Ruben Fleischer has said he doesn't yet know how this story would play out, but that the plot will inevitably be different to the comics. This version of Cletus Kasady is already obsessed with Eddie Brock (for unknown reasons), and warns Eddie that he'll be coming for him the moment he breaks out.
What's Next for the Sony Marvel Universe?
Looking beyond Venom 2, Sony has a number of other Spider-Man spinoffs in the works. The most advanced is Morbius, which will reportedly begin production in November. Rumors suggest this will be a pretty comic-book-accurate origin story; the female lead is reportedly Martine Bancroft, Morbius's fiancée in the comics, while the villain is believed to be Emil Nikos, who was Morbius's best friend - and first victim. Sony has presumably been waiting to see how Venom fared in the box office before revealing any details, but if production really is set to kick off in just a month's time, we should expect more news shortly. A Kraven the Hunter movie is also in early in pre-production, with Richard Wenk (The Equalizer) on board to write the script.
A number of other projects have also been discussed, some of which have been rather surprising. The studio is confirmed to be working on films featuring Nightwatch, Silk, and Jackpot, none of whom are exactly A-listers. Nightwatch is a vigilante who became trapped in a time loop in which he saw his own death; Jackpot is a redhead whose DNA was rewritten to grant her super-powers; and Silk is a classmate of Peter Parker's who was bitten by the same radioactive spider. Silk is perhaps the most interesting of these projects, as the character could conceivably play the role of a Spider-Man substitute in Sony's Marvel Universe. Finally, although Silver & Black has been canceled, Sony has indicated it's working on separate films for these two femme fatales.
It's interesting to note that, should all these go ahead, Sony's Spider-Man spinoff universe will have a very healthy ratio of male-to-female leads. The male franchise leads would be Venom, Morbius, Kraven, and Nightwatch; the female leads would be Silk, Jackpot, Silver Sable, and Black Cat. Quite how these would relate to Venom is as yet unknown; it's possible the studio has some sort of "event movie" in mind that will tie their franchises together, in the same way The Avengers assembled the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor back in 2012. But one thing is clear: with Venom it's already begun.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018