Thanks to the current lockdown, a number of major movies that were supposed to debut this year have been pushed to 2021. Many of those films were sequels to highly anticipated blockbusters. Fandom recently held a poll on Twitter asking users to pick the sequel they are most looking forward to next near. Venom fans pointed out that Venom 2 received so much support that it was trending in the US with the following tweet.

"Venom 2 currently trending in the US over this tweet from Fandom as people discuss (and make fun of) the movie."
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The original Venom from back in 2018 was a reimagining of the character from Marvel Comics' Spider-Man mythology, with Tom Hardy playing Venom's alter ego Eddie Brock and providing the voice for the alien symbiote. Instead of getting his start as a Spidey villain, the film made Eddie a hero from the start after a chance encounter with the symbiote grants him superpowers.

Upon release, the movie was panned by critics for its plot and dialogue. Few people expected the film to do well. Yet it defied expectations to become a box office smash, proving that the popularity of the character more than made up for any perceived flaws in the film.

Venom 2 takes the story forward with the introduction of Venom's arch-enemy/ offspring Carnage. In the comics, the red-hued maniacal symbiote was birthed by Venom, which then fused with psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady, leading to the creation of Carnage. Kasady will be played by Woody Harrelson in Venom 2, which is set to be directed by Andy Serkis.

Among the sequels that Venom had to beat in the poll are several heavy hitters. There is the third follow-up to The Matrix which sees a lot of the original cast returning. Avatar 2 and Space Jam 2 are other follow ups to films that were released a long time ago. Mission Impossible 7, Fast 9, Fantastic Beasts 3, Sherlock Holmes 3, Spider-Man 3, and Jurassic World: Dominion are all well-known recent franchises with huge fandoms and attached audience expectations.

Interestingly, Spider-Man 3 may see quite a bit of overlap with Venom 2. Now that the two are co-owned by the same company, the webbed wall-crawler is free to play as important a role in Venom's cinematic life as he does in the comics. Tom Hardy has dropped more than a few hints that Spidey will be making an appearance in Venom 2, although it will likely be little more than a cameo.

The large amount of interest in both Venom 2 and Spider-Man 3 bodes good things for Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, which relies heavily on characters from Spider-Man comics to build a cinematic franchise. Other upcoming movies in the series include other Spider-Man villains-turned leads Morbius, Kraven, Madame Web, and Black Cat. 2021 promises to be a jam-packed year for fans, provided the majority of theaters are up and running to full-capacity by that time.

Neeraj Chand