Let’s talk about that universe-shaking ‘Venom 2’ credits scene
This article contains spoilers for the end credits scene in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” so if you haven’t seen it, you should probably stop reading now.
Whatever you think of Sony’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” there is one scene that will shake the universe of Marvel fans. What does it all mean? Here’s your final warning to stop reading now if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want its biggest reveal spoiled.
Duck and cover! Here goes ...
After the action of the film has concluded and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and Venom (also Tom Hardy, or at least his voice) have trudged past their brutal détente into an honest-to-goodness friendship, a midcredits scene finds them on a vacation of sorts on a tropical island. They’re relaxing in front of a TV in a cabana on a fine evening when something happens to the screen and the lights, and it suddenly seems to be daytime. On the screen is now a news report from the Daily Bugle’s J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), who’s complaining about his bête noire, Spider-Man, as usual.
None of that is too weird, as Simmons’ version of Jameson appeared in Sony’s original “Spider-Man” trilogy (starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man). The character was absent from the two Sony “Amazing Spider-Man” movies (starring Andrew Garfield), save for a quick reference. Then Simmons’ Jameson shocked Marvel Cinematic Universe fans by showing up in a midcredits scene in the Sony-Disney/Marvel Studios “Spider-Man: Far From Home” to publicly reveal Spider-Man’s secret identity as Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland).
The more mind-blowing aspect of Jameson’s “Venom” appearance for Marvel fans is that the news report is on the same subject — blowing Peter Parker’s secret — and Holland’s face is boldly displayed on the screen.
Just like that, Venom is in the MCU.
It’s no secret Marvel Studios has been planning for such crossovers as part of its exploration of the “Multiverse.” When announcing the 2019 deal to keep the Sony-MCU Spidey-marriage alive, MCU grand pooh-bah Kevin Feige said Spider-Man “happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
Long before the MCU’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” trailer reintroduced Doctor Octopus (as played by Alfred Molina in Sony’s “Spider-Man 2” — though the villain was killed in that movie), “No Way Home’s” casting of several Sony Spidey veterans, including Jamie Foxx (Electro in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and Simmons, had been known.
There are persistent rumors that Sony Spider-Men Maguire and Garfield will also appear, despite Garfield’s persistent denials. Their appearances, if they happen, would echo the first breaching of the Multiverse — in Sony’s Oscar-winning, animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” protagonist Miles Morales meets multiple versions of Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
What’s more, the next Doctor Strange movie, scheduled for release in March, is titled “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and the “No Way Home” trailer depicts Strange’s magical meddling as possibly setting off some sort of Multiversal rift. (By the way, can we talk about how this and Strange’s “What If...?” episode make him the poster doc for magical malpractice?)
Tom Hardy once again shares his body with a bloodthirsty alien creature in this wild, breezy sequel directed by Andy Serkis.
The trailer for the upcoming “Morbius” includes a Spider-Man mural with “Murderer” scrawled on it, likely a reference to the events of “Far From Home” (though sharp eyes have spotted that the base image is from a Sony movie, not an MCU one), and an appearance by Michael Keaton reprising his Vulture role from “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
So it has long been known this day would come: the concrete placement of a Sony Spidey-verse protagonist in the MCU. It’s just a shock to the system that it’s finally here, especially after fake-outs such as Evan Peters’ casting as the faux-Quicksilver in “WandaVision” after playing the Fox-Marvel version of the hero in the “X-Men” movies. Instead of that being a crack in the Multiverse, it turned out to be stunt casting, to the collective groans of MCU fans.
There are a few continuity issues this could patch, or at least acknowledge. In the comics and in “Spider-Man 3,” Eddie Brock’s introduction to the Venom symbiote is quite different and tied directly to Peter Parker. In the two “Venom” movies, there’s no mention of Parker (nor Jameson, despite Brock working for the Daily Bugle), and in the midcredits scene, there’s no indication Eddie or Venom know the face they see on the screen (though Venom indicates he’d like to make a meal of him). The explanation? Multiverse!
By the way, there have been unconfirmed reports that Sony had shot a scene for the first “Venom” film with Holland playing Peter Parker but that Marvel Studios asked for it to be removed. Holland did tell The Times, “At one point there was a moment where I was going to play a Peter Parker in [‘Into the Spider-Verse’]. There was going to be a little Easter egg or something.”
But “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” makes it clear: The madness of the live-action MCU Multiverse has officially begun.
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