There’s not a lot of room for weird in the rigorously managed world of comic book movies. The movies that usually get that tag—Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: Ragnarok—tend to be pretty tame. But you know what’s weird? Venom is weird. And it worked! Despite… Despite early trailers selling it as a brooding dark piece, the first Venom is, frankly, bonkers—a weirdly silly and hilarious movie that turns one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous foes into a wisecracking misunderstood creature. What is typically a dark tale of possession quickly becomes a buddy comedy, with Tom Hardy giving a genuinely gonzo performance as both the straight man and the voice of the space monster inhabiting his body. I’m unsure how something this off the rails went on to garner a staggering $213 million at the US box office, and 856 million around the world. Nevertheless, Venom was a bonafide hit for Sony, so, naturally, we’re getting a sequel.
Based on the name alone—Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the best cinematic subtitle since Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo—the sequel is doubling down on the first film’s absurdist nature. And the just-released trailer seems to confirm that, yes, we’re in for some Venom-grade insanity.:
There are, like, ten different absurd moments in this trailer—from Hardy’s Eddie Brock getting hit (repeatedly) in the face by his symbiote buddy to Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady (!) biting (!) Eddie’s hand and then getting infected with his own symbiote, or even the Kool-Aid Man-esque “OH YEAH!” Venom emits when Brock says he can “eat everybody.” All of this is a fantastic reassurance that the creative team behind Let There Be Carnage—which includes director Andy Serkis, who you’ll remember as the guy who played Gollum—hasn’t lost any of the magic that went into the successful craziness of the first film.
If anything, things are getting even weirder. Judging from the clips shown, Harrelson knew precisely what type of energy would be required to match Hardy. Between an awful wig, a subsequently shitter haircut, and some genuinely awful sartorial choices, there’s a case that when all is said and done, we’ll look at the Venom movies as unimpeachable camp classics.
We’ll have to wait and see if the story—on which Tom Hardy has a writing credit—lives up to the, ahem, carnage of the original. For now, we’ll just be content rewatching this latest trailer and reliving the absurdity of it all as we wait for a firm release date.