Venom: Let There Be Carnage will obviously pit Tom Hardy’s character against Woody Harrelson’s incoming villain, Carnage. And we know that Shriek will also play a vital role in the movie. However, according to new details from the production, Venom might be dealing with yet another baddie this time around.
Obviously, even surface-level Spider-Man fans know that Cletus Kasady is the murderous red symbiote Carnage, who will be brought to life in the sequel. However, stills of Tom Hardy as well as the very first trailer for the film have shown eagle-eyed fans another potential villain that may join the fray — Toxin.
According to ComicBook, many have noticed that the character Detective Patrick Mulligan, played by Stephen Graham, debuted in promotions for Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The outlet notes that comic book fans were quick to note that he eventually becomes the symbiote Toxin, who has direct ties to Tom Hardy’s Venom and, more specifically, Carnage. However, according to production notes, the outlet reports that this may be more than a mere Easter Egg or third film setup.
The production notes state that Mulligan has a chip on his shoulder for many reasons. However, his career is dogged by an accident in which he shot a little girl. It mentally scarred him and left him with hearing loss in his left ear. Because of the disability, he has trouble advancing his detective career, making him an “angry, bitter man.” Among the things he’s bitter about is that Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock was apparently given something he thinks he should have. While the outlet speculates that it could be the final interview with death row inmate Cletus Kasady, it could also be his super-powered symbiote.
In the comics, Toxin is the 1000th spawn of Carnage, who is forced to attach himself directly to Mulligan upon being born. He and Tom Hardy’s character join forces on the page to be heroes, but it doesn’t last long before Toxin becomes a powerful symbiote antagonist all his own, feared by both Venom and Carnage alike.
While it’s possible that Carnage’s first act is to spawn offspring, it’s a bit more likely that Toxin would be reserved for a third movie. CBR notes that Tom Hardy has toyed with the theory in the past when asked by fans, but stopped short of confirming anything, noting instead that he had eyes on a third movie when working on the second. After all, Carnage was introduced as the main antagonist of the sequel by way of a brief cameo at the end of the first. It’s possible that Toxin is merely the big tee-up for Venom 3.
Tom Hardy noted in a previous interview with Esquire that, while he’s ready and percolating with ideas for a third movie, it has not yet been greenlit by Sony Entertainment. Instead, he claims that the decision-making behind getting a third movie off the ground will be determined by the success of Venom: Let There Be Carnage. However, with Venom being a part of the Spider-Man universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe blurring its lines with things like the multiverse and cameos from Michael Keaton in the Morbius trailer, it’s possible that a third movie will be able to play around with more high-profile characters than Toxin.
Looks like fans will just have to wait and see what the Tom Hardy-led franchise has in store for the sequel before anything can be set in stone for a third.