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SYFY WIRE Venom: Let There Be Carnage

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' director Andy Serkis explains the Cletus/Eddie connection and how Shriek fits in

By Matthew Jackson

The first trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the much-anticipated sequel to one of the wildest mainstream superhero movies of the past five years, landed on Monday, launching fans into a symbiote frenzy online and getting everyone excited for the first encounter between the two title monsters. But how does this encounter begin, how do the human hosts of these symbiotes get to know each other, and what role does a still-mysterious second villain have to play in all of this? Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis has some answers.

Speaking to IGN after the trailer dropped, Serkis — a motion capture legend who's parlayed that new filmmaking frontier into a career behind the camera as well as in front of it — added some intriguing context to the still-shadowy connections between Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and imprisoned killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who of course eventually becomes the red symbiote known as Carnage. According to the director, these two men begin to connect due to a mutual fascination. Kasady is drawn to Brock because, in his own twisted way, he sees similarities between the two of them, and uses his own criminal past as bait to draw Brock in.

“They both had strange upbringings with strange relationships with their parents and their families. And there's an inherent loneliness that they both recognize in each other,” Serkis said. “Cletus actually reaches out and will only speak to Eddie Brock. That's at the beginning of the story, we learned that he's the only one he'll speak to. And the cops, therefore, want Eddie to go in and investigate and try and discover where some of the bodies, some of the many bodies of Cletus's victims are.”

For Brock, who's had an....interesting couple of years living in the same body with an alien being who's obsessed with tater tots, Kasady's dark obsession with him is an opportunity to finally get his career as a hard-hitting journalist back on track.

“He's on a mission. But also, he's self-serving in only the way that Eddie can be. He wants to get in there and maybe he can make a story, get back to what he wants to do most, which is writing and the written word and being a journalist," Serkis explained. "So this sets up really the confrontation, or the false relationship, that Eddie sort of pretends to have with Cletus, in order to get information out of it.”

Then, of course, there's the question of Shriek. The villain with deadly control over sound will make her movie debut in Let There Be Carnage, and she appears in the trailer, played by Naomie Harris, as an isolated woman alone in a very small cell. So, will she get to break out and join her comic book lover Carnage? Serkis isn't telling, but he does see Shriek as a particularly fascinating addition to the Venom movie universe.

“She's a damaged soul and she really has suffered in her childhood, but there is a real vulnerability about her, and she's in a lot of pain… She's been living in isolation for years, years and years,” Serkis said. “With all of these characters, what's so beautifully drawn about them is that they're multi-faceted, they're totally truthful and believable, and yet ... She's dangerous too and I think she has her own sense of fairness and being just, and I think when that line is crossed, then you see a very, very dangerous, dark side to her, and that's what we wanted to do with the character.”

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is set to hit theaters Sept. 24, so we'll probably discover much more about these characters and the wild adventure they're set to go on over the next four months.