Tom Hardy’s new movie Venom is a decidedly twisted take on the superhero genre, with The Dark Knight Rises actor starring as a journalist who finds himself bonded with an alien symbiote who wants nothing more than to eat the faces of everyone he meets.
However, even with all that weirdness, it is still a modern superhero movie, and you know what that means – secret post-credits scenes hidden after the film has ended, teasing sequels, spin-off movies and generally adding to the audience experience (assuming they’re patient enough to wait until the bitter end).
If you do decide to wait, Venom has TWO scenes after the credits start to roll – one halfway through, one right at the end – and we go into exactly what happens in them and what they mean below.
It should go without saying that there will be spoilers from hereon out.
Post-credits scene one
The first post-credits scene picks up where the film leaves off, with Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and his symbiote off to conduct a top-secret interview.
Pulling up to San Quentin prison, Eddie and Venom are shown through to the bowels of the building by a no-nonsense guard where they’re confronted by a peculiarly threatening inmate – a man with shock-red hair who’s writing on his cage with his own blood, played by veteran Oscar-nominated actor Woody Harrelson.
For those not in the know, this character’s name is Cletus Kasady, and he has a long and bloody history in the comics. We first meet him as the serial killer cellmate of Eddie Brock (the comic-book version of Brock is an out-and-out Spider-Man villain, at least at first), who watches with awe when Eddie’s symbiote arrives and breaks him out of jail.
However, the Venom symbiote accidentally leaves a piece of itself behind (later reimagined as the symbiote “giving birth”), which bonds with Kasady by surging into his bloodstream (it could be that Cletus writing in his blood in the movie is a nod to this).
While unstable before, bonding with the symbiote makes Cletus even more unhinged and dangerous, and he becomes a new villain called Carnage who rampages around New York and eventually forces Spider-Man and Venom to team up to stop him (for slightly unclear reasons, he’s much more physically strong than either of them, and basically looks like Venom but red and skinnier).
In the movie Venom, Cletus is still a run-of-the-mill serial killer (though with comic-accurate red hair, as noted) – but he hints at his deadly future in the last words he speaks to Brock.
“When I get out of here, and I will,” he says, “there’s gonna be Carnage.”
See what they did there?
Anyway, the significance of Cletus’ inclusion (and the fact that they got as esteemed an actor as Woody Harrelson to play him) suggests that Carnage may be the storyline Sony hope to tackle in any Venom sequels.
But of course, before all that there’s another Spider-Man-themed movie Sony are hoping to make a success…
Post-credits scene two
Now, this one takes an unusual turn.
Beginning with the caption “Meanwhile, in another universe,” the second post-credits scene dives straight into a sequence from this December’s upcoming animated Spider-Man movie Into the Spider-Verse, which follows different versions of the wallcrawler from parallel worlds as they end up working together to solve a massive crisis.
The clip shown at the end of Venom is previously unseen footage from the eagerly-anticipated movie, opening with a chase as young wannabe Spider-Man Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is pursued by the Prowler, a gadget-powered super-thief who (in the comics, at least) is secretly Miles’ uncle Aaron.
Having caused a traffic accident to escape the Prowler, Miles (wearing a cheap Spider-Man Halloween costume) ends up in a snowy graveyard, where he looks at the grave of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man. In this universe, it seems that Miles has taken on the mantle of Spider-Man from the original (currently played by Tom Holland in Marvel’s live-action movies).
“I’m sorry Mr Parker,” Miles says, despondent. “I wanna do what you asked. I really do. But I can’t do this without you.”
All of a sudden, Miles is tapped on the shoulder and shocked, blasts the figure away with his venom sting ability (confusingly, the Miles version of Spider-Man has a couple of extra abilities on top of the classic one we know and love).
The person he’s blasted? Peter Parker, aka the original Spider-Man, who now lies unconscious but is still, somehow, alive (though from the trailers we know this is a version of Peter from another universe AGAIN. Keeping track still?)
Confronted by the cops, Miles then grabs Peter and engages in a hilarious, clumsy web-swing escape that sees the pair splatting into buildings, being dragged along by a train and eventually being deposited on a walkway, where the clip ends.
Overall, this clip has absolutely nothing to do with Venom, but does show Sony’s commitment in pushing their various Spider-Man spin-off projects – as well as suggesting just how much fun Into the Spider-Verse (which is produced by The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller) could be when it’s released this December.