Barely any time had passed after Sony announced the title Venom: Let There Be Carnage before I launched myself on to the internet like a symbiote entering orbit to scream about its perfection. It’s so wonderfully stupid, the perfect moniker for a film that turned out to be, you guessed it, wonderfully stupid. There’s simply no beating it. Or is there? When Collider’s Steve Weintraub sat down recently with director Andy Serkis, they discussed whether the film ever had a different title—Venom: Lethal Protector, perhaps?—and the answer Serkis provided somehow, beyond all logic and reason, actually gives Let There Be Carnage a run for its money: Venom: Love Will Tear Us Apart.
We did think for a moment it might be called ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart,’ that was a going concern for a little while. 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.
Naming the sequel after a dang sappy Joy Division song not only leans hard into what people responded to in the first film—the fact that Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote are very clearly in love—but makes a ton of sense once you see the sequel, a madcap romantic comedy masquerading as a comic book movie. Yes, Woody Harrelson’s serial killer Cletus Kasady gets infected by the Carnage symbiote and proceeds to murder a ton of people while reuniting with his mutant former fling, Shriek (Naomie Harris). That’s all very important. But the backbone of Venom: Let There Be Carnage is the fraught domestic situation of Eddie Brock and Venom, pulled in both directions by Eddie’s desire to live a normal life and regain his authority as a journalist and Venom’s wish to decapitate bad guys and eat their brains. Love, in all its sloppiest forms, quite literally tears them apart.
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In the end, it didn’t take much for Serkis and Co. to settle instead on Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a title that, let me be clear once again, whips complete and total ass. Be on the lookout for the rest of our interview with Andy Serkis tomorrow. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is currently playing in theaters. In addition to Hardy, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Reid Scott, Stephen Graham, and Peggy Lu. Here is the official synopsis: Over a year after the events of Venom (2018), investigative journalist Eddie Brock struggles to adjust to life as the host of the alien symbiote Venom, which grants him super-human abilities in order to be a lethal vigilante. Brock attempts to reignite his career by interviewing serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the host of the symbiote Carnage and escapes prison after a failed execution.