Woody Harrelson's role in Venom isn't very big, but it could set the stage for a bigger part in the franchise. Sony is getting closer to launching another attempt at a comic book-based cinematic universe. They tried to do so with Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man series, and even after bringing Spidey into the MCU, they're complicating things with their own plans. Those at Marvel Studios have remained consistent in saying Venom doesn't tie in, but rumors of Tom Holland making an appearance would say otherwise.
A potential cameo of Peter Parker isn't the only major character that Venom may include outside of its lead anti-hero, either. Early reports indicated Carnage is going to be in the movie despite no one getting cast in the role. That is, until Harrelson became a late addition to the Venom cast and reports linked him to the role.
Harrelson has finally confirmed that he is indeed in Venom during a new interview with Collider, but wouldn't go as far as to say who he is playing. While Harrelson playing Carnage in Venom remains just a rumor for the time being, the actor teased how he factors in to not only this film, but also a potential sequel.
I’m in a little fraction of this movie, but I’ll be in the next one, you know? So I haven’t read that script, but anyways, just rolled the dice.
With Harrelson confirming he is barely in the movie, the facts around his role start to become even clearer. This is undoubtedly why he has not been featured in any of the marketing to this point. It also makes sense for him to have a smaller role since he was added to the movie late in production. However, Harrelson's description of his potential arc actually lines up really well with a previous rumor about how Carnage factors into the Venom movie. But be warned, what follows could be considered a spoiler for the end of Venom.
The idea was that Eddie Brock meets Cletus Kasady right at the end of Venom and sees part of the symbiote attach itself to the serial killer, thus setting up Carnage vs Venom in a sequel. This could ultimately disappoint some fans who expected Carnage to be a main, but secret part to Venom, though it's also nice to see Sony not throwing all their eggs into one basket right away. However, this would mean any chance of seeing Hardy and Harrelson square off in their symbiote forms would have to come in a sequel.
At one point, Sony was working on several Spider-Man related spinoffs, but those have largely gone quiet. Silver & Black was supposed to already be filming if not wrapped at this point, and there's yet to be any sign that the movie is actually making progress - though last we heard, the script was still being worked on. There were discussions on Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio also getting movies, and the latter seems less likely now that Jake Gyllenhaal is eyeing that role in the MCU for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2. Sony could just be waiting to see how Venom performs before moving forward with the rest of these, but the one that is most dependent on Venom's success is a sequel. It looks like Venom and Carnage won't be fighting in Hardy's first solo movie, so fans will have to wait for Venom 2 to see such an event.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
- Silver and Black (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019