Who Is The Main Venom: Let There Be Carnage Villain? Carnage Explained

The filmmakers behind Sony and Marvel's "Venom" sequel certainly aren't trying to hide anything when it comes to the film's primary villain: they're putting the baddie's name right there in the title. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" will see Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock facing off against a formidable foe named Carnage, who has never before appeared in a live-action Marvel project (except in a brief post-credits scene in "Venom"). Here's everything you need to know about the red-tinted rapscallion.

Who is Carnage?

Carnage is technically the alien symbiote offspring of the Venom symbiote, who ends up bonding with a human host named Cletus Kasady — a serial killer with an incredibly violent past and a hankerin' for more murder and spreading chaos on a massive scale. The bond between Kasady and Carnage is more powerful than the bond between Eddie Brock and Venom, and Carnage's red coloration is due to the fact that the symbiote linked with Kasady's blood. In the comics, Kletus was infected by the symbiote after sharing a cell with Eddie Brock and subsequently breaks out of prison; in the new movie, it looks like Kletus has figured out Venom's secret identity and purposefully infects himself after luring Brock to his cell.

After debuting in the comics, the Carnage character showed up in the "Spider-Man" animated series, the 1994 video game "Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage," and several other places, including additional animated shows, a Broadway production, and even a maze at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.

In "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Cletus Kasady will be portrayed by Woody Harrelson, who is rocking a comical red wig and inexplicably pronounces the word "carnage" like "car-neege." (Seriously, go to the 1:16 mark in this trailer and listen to Harrelson say it. What a choice!)

What Are Carnage's Superpowers?

In the comics, Carnage is stronger than Venom and Spider-Man combined for one specific reason: the alien symbiote gestated on Earth, an unfamiliar locale for its species. That bestowed Carnage with the ability to shape-shift, plant thoughts in peoples' heads using his tendrils, and regenerate injured tissue at an increased rate. All of those abilities are enhanced and heightened by Kasady's insane nature, with the two of them essentially feeding off each other in a twisted way. Carnage also has the equivalent of Spider-Man's "Spider-Sense," with the symbiote able to see things at any angle and relay warnings about incoming threats to his human host. 

It's unclear exactly how many of these abilities will translate to the big screen adaptation of this character, but he certainly provides an imposing force for Eddie Brock/Venom to deal with. Director Andy Serkis (yes, that Andy Serkis) explained some of Carnage's abilities in a recent interview:

"He can turn to mist. He can turn to all manner of tendrils. He can take different forms. He can weaponize, he can do all of these different things. With all symbiotes, they reflect the person who is their host. So the darkness of Carnage, the playfulness, the wit, the strangeness. Cletus has a real intelligence and ... a real sense of humor, and we wanted to reflect that in the symbiote that is linked to him."

Will Carnage Be the Sequel's Only Villain?

I'm glad you asked! Carnage is not the sole villain in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" — he'll be joined by Shriek, yet another symbiote who attaches itself to a woman named Frances Barriston, who will be played by "Skyfall" actress Naomie Harris. In the pages of Marvel Comics, Shriek has typically been a love interest for Carnage, and while Serkis would not confirm that romantic relationship would be explored in this upcoming film, he described her character like this:

"She's a damaged soul and she really has suffered in her childhood, but there is a real vulnerability about her, and she's in a lot of pain ... She's been living in isolation for years, years and years. With all of these characters, what's so beautifully drawn about them is that they're multi-faceted, they're totally truthful and believable, and yet ... She's dangerous, too, and I think she has her own sense of fairness and being just, and I think when that line is crossed, then you see a very, very dangerous, dark side to her, and that's what we wanted to do with the character."

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is expected to arrive in theaters on October 15, 2021.