Ending Explained is a recurring series where we explore the finales, secrets, and themes of interesting movies and shows, both new and old. This time, we look at the ending of Venom: Let There Be Carnage (a.k.a Venom 2). Yes, prepare for spoilers.
For much of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, we’re stuck in the theater watching two alien blobs cut into each other. The experience is not much different than what we got with the first movie. And for most people walking out of the theater — the ones that stayed through the post-credits scene at least — what went down during the majority of the sequel’s runtime is of little consequence. Tom Hardy defeats Woody Harelson. Yawn. But that last little bit featuring you-know-who, well, that’s deeply fascinating and threatens to shake things up in a franchise that 90 minutes previously was supposedly far, far away from this one.
Once upon a time, Spider-Man and his villains were prisoners of Sony Pictures. Thanks to a lackluster response to The Amazing Spider–Man 2 in 2014, Sony started making nice with Marvel Studios, and Spidey found himself rebooted within Captain America: Civil War, with Tom Holland taking over the role of the superhero and his alter-ego, Peter Parker. Part of that deal involved Sony letting go — creatively, not financially — of their most popular comic book character. At the same time, the studio attempted to cultivate standalone hits using that superhero’s rogues gallery. Hence the first Venom and the upcoming Morbius and Kraven films.
The arrangement was slightly odd for comic book fans, but we rolled with it and refused to let go of the idea that Toms Hardy and Holland would eventually clash one day. Our patience appears to be paying off. The bomb dropped during the Venom: Let There Be Carnage ending post-credits scene is a mighty promise for an epic royal rumble between the two. And it’s apparently a result of all the multiversal madness that’s been going down in the Marvel Cinematic Universe lately.
So, what exactly occurs during the Venom: Let There Be Carnage post-credits scene?
Victorious, Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote are maxing and relaxing in their hotel room. With a tropical paradise outside their window and a telenovela blaring from their television, the odd couple roomies take a moment to reassess. The alien creature tells Eddie that he’s been holding back some precious information. Venom has denied his friend access to the hive mind that connects the symbiote to all his sci-fi siblings roaming outer space.
Why? The symbiote worries that his “light-years of knowledge” will crack his host’s mind. Eddie’s brain turned to goo would give Venom free access to play his meat-puppet any way he wants, but he’s grown to love this silly human during these last two flicks. Yet he can’t deny his buddy, either, and in a moment of weakness, Venom opens his mind entirely to Eddie’s.
It’s at this point when we witness a bright flash. The hotel room they were once in is not the hotel room they currently occupy. Even more troubling, the soap opera is no more, replaced by a broadcast from The Daily Bugle.Net. We see J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) from the ending of Spider–Man: Far From Home outing the MCU Peter Parker (Holland) as Spider-Man.
While Eddie tries to make sense of this reality shift, the symbiote presses his mug against the TV screen. Out comes that impossibly long tongue and Venom gives Tom Holland’s Parker a long, slurpy lick. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Eddie asks Venom if he’s to blame for what’s going on, but the symbiote denies involvement. Wherever they are, and whatever happened, is not the alien’s fault. Someone else is tinkering with their dimensional position.
The Multiverse of Madness
There are more worlds than the ones we know. Marvel’s cinematic multiverse was initially suggested in Spider–Man: Far From Home, even though that revelation was ultimately exposed as misdirection by the treacherous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But the MCU installment did its job, planting the idea in our heads, preparing us for the dimensional shattering shenanigans of the WandaVision, Loki, and What If…? series.
When Sylvie, a.k.a. Lady Thor (Sophia Di Martino), jabbed her sword into He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in Loki, the one-true MCU timeline was cut, and a myriad of branches sprung from its destruction. Within those infinite strands could reside the X–Men and Deadpool movies, as well as the Venom franchise and Sony’s numerous other Spider–Man movies and spin-offs.
And we’ve got the next MCU Spider-Man movie nipping on Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s heels. As we’ve already seen in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, with the assistance of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), will tumble through the Spider-Verse and come face-to-face with Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and probably several other threats from the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield iterations of the Marvel superhero.
Venom vs. Spider-Man
So, can we now assume that Eddie Brock and Venom will appear in the third MCU Spider–Man movie? If we’re placing bets, it’s probably safe to consider an appearance, but it will be brief. Sony should not waste a Venom vs. Spider-Man brawl as 15 minutes within another studio’s adventure. These two titans are intrinsically linked in the comic books, and they deserve their own film to properly get to know each other. Anticipation for their clash is immense, and a whole movie could easily hang on their confrontation.
We should also not assume that Venom and Spider-Man will be instant enemies, either. In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it’s clear that the symbiote has delusions of grandeur regarding his superhero status. He wants to be San Francisco’s “Lethal Protector,” a name that derives directly from the comic books that saw Eddie Brock attempting his own special brand of vigilante justice. The monster wants to be the good guy. The tensions between him and Spidey could arise simply by the methods in which the creature dispatches criminals. You know: he makes meals of their heads.
Judging by that loving lick of the tongue seen in the post-credits scene at the end of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the symbiote is more than a little excited to meet his spider-themed doppelganger. Tonally, their clash will most likely be comical. Just imagine poor, sweet Tom Holland attempting a conversation with Venom’s psychotically frenetic never-ending maw. Petey will no doubt have trouble keeping down his lunch.
Are we ready for so much crossover collision?
The MCU is only getting started with their Multiverse plot. Beyond Spider–Man: No Way Home, we’ve still got Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as well as Jonathan Majors’ return in Ant–Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. By the time they’re through, every old Marvel comic book movie character could be shaking hands with their contemporary counterpart. The two Blades (Wesley Snipes and Mahershala Ali) gotta happen, and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine can’t be too far behind.
The ending of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and its post-credits scene is a massive gauntlet drop. There’s a certain level of anxiety when considering so many characters from different timelines, featuring a wide range of quality, interacting with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which for the most part, has one consistent vibe. Do you really want to acknowledge the existence of the previous Fantastic Four debacles when attempting to launch yet another reboot? No way.
Marvel Studios has to be very selective in who they let back into their universe. It can’t be a free-for-all melee. Letting Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock into their land is scary enough. Venom vs. Spider-Man will definitely sell tickets for Sony, and Jackman will put butts back in seats. But, please don’t let Ben Affleck’s Daredevil know about this multiversal party.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now playing in theaters.
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