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SYFY WIRE Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Andy Serkis reveals the alternate title for Venom 2 — and it’s way more '80s than ‘Let There Be Carnage’

By Benjamin Bullard
Tom Hardy & Woody Harrelson Reunite in 'Venom: Let There Be Carnage'

We’ve already reflected on how close to the mark Marvel and Sony struck by naming their symbiotic new Spidey sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage. After all, Carnage comes on the scene in villainous beastly form, born into a twisted destiny of sweeping destruction that contrasts sharply with the goofy domestic quarrel between Venom and his human host, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy).

But as director Andy Serkis recently shared, the sequel could’ve had a very different title — if, that is, Sony and Marvel had made the decision to put post-punctuation-mark emphasis on Venom and Eddie, instead of on the movie’s main villain. And it would’ve been apt, in a post-punk, 1980s kind of way, as a means of portraying the affectionate angst in their ongoing feud, as they try to make peace while stuck inside Eddie's body.

Yes, Joy Division fans, this could have been your chance to get a Marvel movie shout-out. Serkis told Collider that the love-hate dynamic between Eddie and Venom presented the idea, at least for a moment, for a potential title that would’ve taken its name straight from one of the band’s best-known songs.

“We did think for a moment it might be called 'Love Will Tear Us Apart,' that was a going concern for a little while,” said Serkis. “But 'Let There Be Carnage' just seems to do it. There wasn’t a lot of fighting over the other titles we were thinking of. Because this was such a strong contender.”

Serkis didn’t elaborate further on the alt-title’s seemingly fun allusion to one of the early 1980s’ seminal rock tracks. But perhaps that song’s darker legacy — releasing in the wake of singer Ian Curtis’ 1980 suicide — might’ve cast too heavy a shadow over a superhero movie that a lot of critics also are praising as a pitch-perfect comedic romp.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with putting the spotlight on Carnage and Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), his murderously malevolent human symbiote. Venom’s latest nemesis has already started swooping into theaters, no doubt with designs on imposing a new order at the box office, as Venom: Let There Be Carnage debuts today.