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Is Carnage VENOM’s Secret Villain?

While many of our questions about Venom were answered at Sony’s massive Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con for their forthcoming superhero movies, it also raised another, much more pressing question: does Venom have a second, secret villain? Perhaps one who could paint the town red? In case it’s not painfully obvious, I’m asking if Venom is going to go head to head with Carnage.

At Sony’s Hall H panel, which was moderated by Nerdist News and Bizarre States host Jessica Chobot, we learned that Riz Ahmed will be not only playing Carlton Drake, the leader of the nefarious Life Foundation, but he will also become the film’s main antagonist, the symbiote known as Riot.

In the comics, the Life Foundation captures Venom and performs experiments on him in order to spawn five additional creatures known as the Guardian Symbiotes: Riot, Lasher, Phage, Scream, and Agony. Much like the original alien symbiote bonded with Eddie Brock, these new creations bond with human hosts to turn them into murderous monsters. While not a Guardian Symbiote per se, one of Spider-Man and Venom’s deadliest foes, Carnage, was spawned in a similar fashion, which has us wondering if Venom will tease the creation of one of the most dangerous villains in all of Marvel Comics.

To find out, I spoke to director Ruben Fleischer at Comic-Con, who confirmed that Venom will indeed feature multiple villains, but remained tight-lipped about who exactly we might see.

“There’s definitely more than one villain in this move,” said Fleischer. “I can’t say who but you can surmise. There’s definitely more than one villain. As there’s no real heroes in this movie, it leaves plenty of room for villains.”

Obviously that implies we’ll see more of the Guardian Symbiotes, but could we see a tease of Carnage as well? It would certainly make for one hell of a way to cue up Venom 2: Back in the Goo. Fleischer also spoke with me about the challenges inherent to launching a Venom movie in a cinematic universe without Spider-Man given the character’s comic book roots. For the full interview clips, watch the video above.

Speaking of Spider-Man, I also caught up with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore (“Miles Morales”) and Jake Johnson (“Peter Parker”) as well as co-directors Peter Ramsey, Robert Perischetti Jr., and Rodney Rothman to talk about why now is the perfect time for Miles Morales to take center stage.

“We’ve had a lot of Peter Parker,” Shameik Moore said. “I think it’s time to expand that universe and have other role models. Peter is a great role model, but so is Miles, and they are not the same person. With great power comes great responsibility. That sentence doesn’t mean the same thing for the two people.”

For our full conversation, including a discussion of how this version of Peter Parker is different from what we’ve seen in the past, and what the relationship between these two Spider-Men is like, watch the video above.

What do you think of the Carnage theory? What other Spider-Man characters do you want to see in Into the Spider-Verse? Let me know in the comments below.

Image: Marvel, Sony

Additional reporting by Jesse B. Gill

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