The Irishman star Stephen Graham's role in Sony's comic book sequel Let There Be Carnage had been a big mystery until yesterday, when a Venom 2 trailer for the movie was finally released, revealing that Graham will play a detective named Mulligan. Now, SPOILERS to follow for those who are unaware of the character's origins, but the arrival of Mulligan is likely a hint towards the arrival of another villainous symbiote.
While it is not shown in the trailer, the red and blue (sometimes black) symbiote is known as Toxin and, in the pages of Marvel comics, bonds with a police officer named Pat Mulligan. Created by Peter Milligan and Clayton Crain, Toxin is feared to be the strongest and most dangerous of the symbiote race. Toxin even has links to Carnage, having been spawned by him in some versions of his backstory.
So, putting these obvious puzzle pieces together, it certainly looks like Sony are sowing the seeds for further adventures for Tom Hardy's Venom. Alternatively, Venom: Let There Be Carnage could end up pulling a Godzilla vs. Kong, with Toxin either causing both Venom and Carnage to come together in order to defeat an even worse foe. Or perhaps Venom and Toxin will end up forming a dynamic duo to beat Carnage, with Mulligan revealing himself to have also been bonded with a symbiote all along.
Toxin may not start the movie as a villain though, as in the comics, Mulligan is afraid that Toxin will turn out as monstrous as Carnage, with the symbiote expressing a morbid sense of humor and a tendency towards excessive use of violence. Mulligan eventually takes it upon himself to mentor the young symbiote and teach it to suppress its predatory instincts, something which does make an impression...until the two are separated.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis has already teased the connection between Venom's host Eddie Brock and Carnage's host Cletus Kasady saying, "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 continued, teasing the beginnings of this central relationship, "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."
Venom: Let There Be Carnage finds Tom Hardy starring once again as Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist who is the host of an alien symbiote that imbues him with super-human abilities and a violent alter-ego known as Venom. The symbiotic bromance will be challenged more than ever before thanks to the arrival of Woody Harrelson's Cletus Kasady, an insane psychotic serial killer who becomes the host of an alien symbiote known as Carnage. Venom: Let There Be Carnage is scheduled to be released in the United States on September 24, 2021 having been delayed from an October 2020 release. You can watch the new trailer, and look for clues, over at Sony Pictures Entertainment.