Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a 2021 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Venom, produced by Columbia Pictures in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is the second film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and the sequel to Venom (2018). The film is directed by Andy Serkis from a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on a story she wrote with Tom Hardy who stars as Eddie Brock / Venom alongside Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, and Woody Harrelson. In the film, Brock struggles to adjust to life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, while serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) escapes from prison after becoming the host of Carnage, a chaotic spawn of Venom.
Venom was intended to be the start of a new shared universe, and plans for a sequel began during production on the first film. Harrelson was cast to make a brief appearance as Kasady at the end of Venom with the intention of him becoming the villain Carnage in the sequel. Official work on the sequel began in January 2019, with Hardy and Harrelson confirmed to return along with Marcel as writer. Serkis was hired as director that August, partly due to his experience working with CGI and motion-capture technology which was an important part of portraying Venom and Carnage in the film. Filming took place at Leavesden Studios in England from November 2019 to February 2020, with additional filming in San Francisco in February. The title was announced in April 2020. The film was primarily inspired by the comic book story arc “Maximum Carnage” (1993) and the 1994 Spider-Man animated series story arc The Venom Saga (1996).
Venom: Let There Be Carnage premiered in London on September 14, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on October 1, 2021. It was delayed from an initial October 2020 date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film has grossed over $103 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, although it was generally considered an improvement over Venom.
In 1996, a young Cletus Kasady watches helplessly as his love, Frances Barrison, is taken away from St. Estes Home for Unwanted Children to the Ravencroft Institute. On the way, she uses her sonic scream powers to escape and attacks young police officer Patrick Mulligan. He shoots Barrison in the eye and suffers an injury to his ear. Unbeknownst to Mulligan, who believes he killed her, Barrison is taken to the facility, which is hardened against her powers.
In the present day, Mulligan, now a detective, contacts Eddie Brock to speak to Kasady, a serial killer who refuses to talk to anyone other than Brock. After the visit, Brock is able to figure out where Kasady has hidden the body of victims, which gives him a huge career boost. Kasady, who is sentenced to lethal injection, invites Brock to attend his execution. However, Venom is provoked to attack Kasady via insults towards Brock. Kasady bites Brock’s hand, ingesting a small part of the symbiote. Brock is contacted by his ex-fiancée Anne Weying, who tells him that she is now engaged to Dr. Dan Lewis.