A new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage dropped this week, and this one clicks a little stronger for me. Right off the top, it looks like Eddie Brock is doing better these days because he’s upgraded his Ducati from the more practical Scrambler to one of the flashier superbikes (I can’t get a clear enough look to tell which one, though). Then, we see that Venom and Eddie are bickering like the odd couple that they are, with Venom wanting to eat everyone and Eddie trying to keep him on a bad guy only diet. But what really leaps out is Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady/Carnage. Harrelson just looks like he is having so much FUN, and it’s hard to go wrong when an actor like him is so obviously enjoying himself. It’s just Eddie and Cletus locked in a weird bro-ship while Venom and Carnage try to get along. They’re like a couple of single dads minding their recalcitrant at the playground, hoping their kids get along just well enough to not f-ck up date night. Marketing Venom as a romance worked like gangbusters in China the last time around, so this time they’re not even being subtle with the monster rom-com stuff.
Not only do we get a clearer look at Carnage—one of the “red ones”—but we also see a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of Naomie Harris as Shriek, another symbiote. I am very curious about her, and the little bit we get to see is tantalizing. Sure, sure Carnage and Venom are the big draws, but Shriek is a fun villainess, and I am particularly curious to see how Sony explains her powers. She’s a mutant in the comics, but I don’t think Sony can make use of that, so they’ll have to invent a new backstory. Also, Naomie Harris just plain looks cool and fun as Shriek. Given how f-cking silly Venom is, I remain impressed with the caliber of actors Venom 2 pulled. Tom Hardy will do this as long as they let him do a stupid Venom voice, but Woody Harrelson and Naomie Harris are legit impressive additions to the sequel, and they even somehow convinced Michelle Williams to return as The Girl. Also, Tom Hardy has a story credit on this one, working with Venom screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who also wrote the first movie. I don’t think Carnage can recreate the particular brand of mess of the first movie, but the ingredients are here for something nonetheless utterly bonkers.