The following post contains SPOILERS for Venom. You had to know that already, right? It’s about the scenes that happen literally after the movie is over. How could it not have spoilers?

At long last, Venom. Tom Hardy plays Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis in his own standalone film, which opens in theaters today. And, as is unbreakable law for all comic-book movies, Venom ends with several post-credits scenes teasing future sequels and spinoffs. If you were confused about either of them and what exactly they’re teasing — and how they could affect Spider-Man movies in the future — let’s break it all down.

Post-Credits Scene 1

Frank Masi

The camera follows Eddie Brock on his motorcycle as he drives up to San Quentin Prison (a title card helps identify it for us). He has some back and forth with Venom about letting him deal with the guy they’re about to meet (although we never see Venom in this sequence).

Inside the prison, a guard leads Eddie Brock through a gate and down a long hallway. The guard warns Brock the FBI will be identifying his body if he doesn’t follow the rules inside. It’s clear this is the “big interview” Brock alluded to in his final scene with his ex-girlfriend Anne (Michelle Williams). The whole thing evokes the scene where Clarice Starling meets Hannibal Lecter for the first time in The Silence of the Lambs.

At the end of the hallway, Brock enters a cell where a man sits in solitary confinement, bound in a straight-jacket. Comic fans will immediately recognize the man, thanks to his sprout of wild red hair, as Cletus Kasady, the homicidal human host of Carnage, Venom’s “son.”

Kasady, who has written “Welcome Eddie” on the wall of his cell in his own blood (ouchie), asks Brock if they can dispense with the formalities of him talking like a deranged lunatic about “Dadaist patterns of arterial spray.” They banter back and forth for a bit and then Kasady says “When I get out of here — and I will — there’s gonna be ... carnage.

Do you get it? Do you get it? Because he’s actually Carnage. Okay, you get it.

Post-Credits Scene 2

Sony Pictures Animation

If you sit through all of Venom’s surprisingly long credits, you get an excerpt from the upcoming animated Spider-Man movie, Into the Spider-Verse. It begins with a comic-book-style caption: “Meanwhile ... in another universe.” It’s Miles Morales’ universe, to be exact, and as we see in the film’s recent trailer, all of its recognizable corporations are slightly different (at one point the action zooms past a “RedEx” delivery truck).

Miles walks through a New York City cemetery, and approaches one specific tombstone. It’s Peter Parker’s, and it also gives his date of birth and death (1991-2018, which is kind of fun since he was a teenager in the first Spidey comics, which were published way back in 1963). Miles apologizes to Peter, saying he’s “tried to do” what he asked, but that he “just can’t” without him.

The scene continues on without dwelling on this moment, so we can only speculate at this point exactly what Miles is referring to. Miles’ earliest comic-book appearances came after his universe’s Peter Parker had already died. In a mini-series titled Spider-Men, Miles Morales meets a different universe’s Peter Parker and they go on an adventure together — a concept that sounds pretty similar to Into the Spider-Verse. Apparently this movie’s Miles met Peter before he died, perhaps in whatever accident gave him his own spider powers.

Before Miles can go on, a man in a coat emerges from the shadows. Miles’ Spider-Sense goes off (depicted, for the first time in a movie, in the classic squiggly-lines-above-his-head fashion) and he shocks the stranger with his bio-electric “sting” power and knocks him out. Then he realizes the man is ... Peter Parker, alive and somehow back from the dead.

Before he can wake Peter up, the cops show up, and Miles to flee — with Peter’s unconscious carcass in tow. He drags Peter behind him as he makes a speedy getaway, banging Peter up really badly in the process (that’s how he gets those bruises on his face seen in the first Spider-Verse trailer).

The sequence has nothing to do with Venom and Venom doesn’t appear in it in any form. By coincidence, it’s a better scene than anything in the main film.

What Does It Mean?

Marvel

Most Spider-Man fans — and I say this from personal experience — are going to spend Venom wondering: Is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man going to show up at some point? The answer is no. He doesn’t have a cameo, not even during the post-credits stuff. Spider-Man never appears. There are references to Marvel Comics and to some fictional characters in the Marvel Universe — the astronaut who brings the symbiotes to Earth, for example, is named Jameson as in “John Jameson,” the son of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson. There aren’t any specific mentions of Spider-Man or Peter Parker.

There isn’t anything that necessarily precludes Venom from existing in the same universe as Spider-Man: Homecoming though, or from Tom Hardy’s Venom from showing up in Spider-Man: Far From Home or any other Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, for that matter. Marvel might not want anything to do with Hardy’s Eddie Brock because he’s violent and weird and the movie itself is kind of a disaster (albeit a very entertaining one at times). But if they see potential in Venom — and there is some here, in spite of everything — they could definitely bring him into the MCU.

I would put the chances of that happening at “pretty slim.” That might change if Venom is a huge surprise hit — but that seems pretty unlikely. What seems more likely is a Venom cameo in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Just because he didn’t show up in the scene they played after his credits doesn’t mean he doesn’t play a part in the rest of the film. That “Meanwhile, in another universe...” clearly creates the possibility of a crossover. After all, the whole premise of Into the Spider-Verse is Spider-Men from different universe teaming up. What’s stopping Venom from popping up for a few scenes? (Other than, y’know, the fact that Into the Spider-Verse is nominally a film for children and Venom’s diet is at least 45 percent human faces.)

Those are just my educated guesses, of course. We won’t know for sure if Venom has a future beyond this movie until the box-office receipts come in and Into the Spider-Verse opens in theaters on December 14, and Spider-Man: Far From Home debuts next July.

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