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Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally here and in addition to confirming a web-load of fan theories and speculation, it also gave audiences closure on the mid-credits scene featured in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, where Eddie Brock and Venom (both of them are played by Tom Hardy) found themselves transported from their own separate dimension into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by Doctor Strange's spell.
Venom seemed to recognize Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) on a television screen — despite the fact that this iteration of the character lives in a different reality — leading many of us to believe that the Symbiote from beyond the stars would somehow factor into the events of No Way Home, which features the return of several iconic bad guys.
So let's talk about it, shall we?
***WARNING! The following contains spoilers for the end of No Way Home!***
Sadly, Eddie and Venom do not turn up for most of the threequel's runtime. Instead, the mid-credits stinger of No Way Home reveals that they've just been chilling down in Mexico this entire time, trying to wrap their heads around a world packed to the brim with "super-people." Just as Eddie starts coming to terms with what has happened and announces his plan to go to New York in order to speak with Spider-Man, he and his alien parasite are returned back home (a result of the memory-wiping spell Doctor Strange casts to repair some cracks in the multiverse).
Mr. Brock leaves without paying his bar tab and what's worse: he leaves behind a small patch of Symbiote goo, which starts to crawl away. None of this really explains how Venom was able to recognize Spider-Man on the TV since Strange's first botched spell only brought in people who knew that Peter Parker was the friendly neighborhood vigilante.
Nevertheless, it's plain to see that Hardy's Lethal Protector will continue to remain separate from the MCU, while Marvel Studios sets up its own take on Venom (it's a win-win for both studios, really).
The big question is this: who will fuse with the Symbiote next? Our best guess would be Tony Revolori's Flash Thompson, the third person in the comics to become Venom after Eddie and Mac Gargan (aka the Scorpion). With the help of drugs that suppress the alien's man-eating tendencies, Flash took on the mantle of Agent Venom, an operative of the U.S. government and an eventual member of the Secret Avengers. The character then set his sights on righting injustices throughout the known universe in the pages of Venom: Space Knight from writer Robbie Thompson and artist Ariel Olivetti.
Much like Joe Manganiello's Flash Thompson of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi era of Spider-Man films, Revolori's version of Thompson didn't get a ton of screen development across the Holland movies (other than being the butt of several jokes).
Providing him with the chance to go from immature high school bully to deadly antagonist to redeemed hero might be in the cards for the next trilogy, which Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed is now in development. We already know that Flash is a big admirer of Spider-Man and would go to almost any lengths to be associated with the hero and his notoriety. Use that as a start for his cinematic arc, amping up his jealousy of the web-slinger when he and the Symbiote become one bloodthirsty entity. And by the end, have him learn an important lesson that saving the day isn't just about fame.
There is also the possibility of Gargan, who was last seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming (played by Michael Mando, he was locked up in prison alongside Michael Keaton's Adrien Toomes). As such, the MCU could be setting the stage for the arrival of the Dark Avengers (basically an anti-Avengers team made up of villains) or the Thunderbolts (a Zemo-founded team of baddies who ultimately became heroes). The latter seems more likely, given that several Thunderbolt members — like Zemo, U.S. Agent, Batroc, and Taskmaster — have already been established by the MCU.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters everywhere.