There are spoilers. And then there are spoilers, the kind that should come with literal sirens to warning people. Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s post-credits scene definitely falls into the latter category. For a massively entertaining movie that never once takes itself seriously, it ends with one of the most consequential stingers in movie history: everyone’s favorite symbiote entered the world of the MCU to star opposite Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.
Let There be Carnage ends with Venom and Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock on the run. They’re heading anywhere people need protecting. The movie’s only post-credits scene shows their nomadic existence has led to them living in cheap quarters in a Spanish-speaking country. (Likely near the US and the beach where they ended the film.) It’s clear they’ve been there for some time. They’re very familiar with the storyline of the Spanish soap opera currently airing. Their discussion about the show leads to Venom agreeing to give Eddie a small fraction of the incredible knowledge symbiotes have acquired while traveling the universe. Venom says it will blow Eddie’s mind.
As Eddie preps himself for the onslaught of cosmic knowledge the lights in his room start to dim and flicker. Then everything gets fuzzy as the walls and furniture begin to shake and shimmer. Initially it seems like this is all in Eddie’s mind, as though he can’t handle what Venom is showing him. But then a big, blinding blast of light, one resembling an atomic bomb explosion rather than a burst of sunlight, appears outside. It fills the room, and in a flash the two are no longer on the cheap bed of their meager room. They’ve transported to the comfy bed of a swanky resort where the TV is airing English-language broadcasts.
Venom, confused both about what has happened and the folded animal towel on their bed, tells Eddie he didn’t do this. Some other force has drawn them into this strange place. That’s when things go from interesting to world shattering. Multi-world shattering that is. J. Jonah Jameson, the bald-version of J.K. Simmons’ character from Spider-Man: Far From Home, is now on the TV hosting his Daily Bugle “news” talkshow. He’s complaining about the “Spider-Menace” who he says must be stopped.
That’s when Tom freaking Holland’s Peter Parker appears. He’s wearing his Spidey suit from Far From Home, but is completely unmasked. There’s no question that this is the MCU’s Spider-Man. Seeing Peter causes Venom to overtake Eddie. The giant monster finds Peter intoxicating and slurps the television screen showing Parker’s face. The scene then ends with the room’s actual guest walking out and asking Eddie what he’s doing there.
This is a different world entirely than the one Venom existed in. And it overwhelmingly appears to be the world of the MCU. Once you stop freaking out about that, there are a bunch of questions and possibilities to consider. Each with huge ramifications for both the MCU and Sony.
How Did this Happen?
Spider-Man: No Way Home is going to be a multiversal, multi-studio affair. One involving characters from older non-MCU Spidey movies. It will definitely star Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx. And almost certainly Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Willem Dafoe among others. The most likely answer for how Venom, one of Spider-Man’s most famous foes, will unexpectedly be transported into the world of Tom Holland’s character is the same way the others will. That burst of light might be the moment Doctor Strange’s spell, seen in the No Way Home trailer, goes horribly wrong. That fractured spell will shatter time and space, ultimately pulling Molina’s Doc Ock and other non-MCU Spider-Man characters into the franchise.
That’s the most logical and most likely answer. But other potential explanations exist too. That explosion of light and accidental parallel world merging might have something to do with the Hulk’s Blip and/or Tony’s Iron Gauntlet Snap. Earth experiencing three infinity stone snaps in just five years might be too much for the universe to handle. This could also have something to do with the “Emergence” mentioned in Marvel’s Eternals trailer. That definitely has something to do with all those snaps.
Strange’s shattered spell also opens up to a dimension that looks like He Who Remains’ Citadel beyond time. He Who Remains’ death at the hands of Sylvie in Loki can’t be ruled out as the cause of all this multiverse and timeline convergence. That atomic burst of light might come at the exact moment Sylvie kills him. We already know that act has major implications for the MCU.
However, the “how” isn’t nearly as important as what this means for both Disney and Sony.
Venom in the MCU
It would be genuinely stunning now if Tom Hardy’s Venom isn’t in Spider-Man: No Way Home. (Especially since Hardy wore a hat for the movie out in public.) That brings the film one step closer to a Sinister Six of baddies for the three Spider-Mans to fight. And seeing this live-action Venom on the same screen as any Peter Parker versus the version of the character we got in Spider-Man 3 will also be one of the all-time best movie upgrades.
Most importantly, it will make No Way Home complete. The film is drawing from across all Spider-Man related movies. And Venom is one of the most successful ever made—not including him would be a missed opportunity. So we’re going to get one of the coolest, most fun movie experiences ever. A film—where it seems Venom will want to eat Spider-Man!—decades in the making.
However, that doesn’t mean this multiverse crossover will last long.
Sony’s Spider-Verse Plans
Whether or not Hardy stays in the MCU for more than one film is unclear. It’s certainly possible, even if that means we see Hardy as a parallel world Variant Venom in the future. But repeated appearances in the MCU are far from a guarantee. They might not even be likely. Just like with Spider-Man, Venom’s rights belong to Sony. And the studio is building its own live-action Spider-Verse. Jared Leto’s Morbius the Living Vampire is the next Spider character getting a standalone film. Considering the first Venom made over $850 million at the worldwide box office, it might not make sense for Sony to continue helping Marvel make billions with Sony’s most popular characters.
Having Eddie Brock show up in a single MCU film is still a great move by Sony though. While it will be incredible seeing Venom in the MCU fighting Holland’s Peter, that crossover is a much bigger boon for Sony than Disney. No Way Home is going to make all the money. That was true before this post-credits scene. But now both Venom films are essential watches for MCU fans who maybe didn’t care about them before.
This is such a big deal for Sony it wouldn’t surprise us if we someday learn Venom’s inclusion in the MCU was secretly one of the issues that caused the temporary rift that resulted in the studios not working together. Or if it was part of the solution to that problem.
One day Sony will want Spider-Man to anchor its own Spider-Verse. And when that happens we might look back at Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s post-credits scene as the moment that transition truly began. Because while Tom Hardy, Eddie Brock, and Venom are coming to the world of the MCU, they might be bringing Peter Parker back to theirs soon.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike, and also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.