2018's Venom did a good job of bringing Spider-Man's tentacled arch-enemy to the big screen as a solo lead. The movie established the character of Venom as a popular anti-hero, and also set up a sequel where he would battle his own offspring/arch-enemy Carnage. Now, The Venom Site has revealed the original plan had been to have Carnage as the main villain in the first movie itself.
Venom told the story of a bunch of alien symbiotes that crash land on Earth and spread out to find different human hosts. One such host was journalist Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, who found himself unwillingly bonded to a murderous alien being that called itself Venom.
The movie ends with Eddie making his peace with being Venom's host, but not before the two have to learn to work together to overcome Riot, the leader of the symbiotes who crash-landed on Earth. After they are finally able to stop Riot, Eddie/Venom are brought to a prison cell at the end of the film, where audiences are introduced to Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson, who reveals himself to be the host of a new, even deadlier symbiote named Carnage.
In the comics, Carnage was birthed by the Venom symbiote, before it attached itself to Kasady, a ruthless serial killer. In the movie, Carnage appears to be one of the symbiotes that landed on Earth alongside Venom instead of being its offspring. From the concept art images, it seems the original plan had been to have Carnage be the main villain of the first movie until it was replaced by Riot at the last minute.
It is understandable that the studio would want to have both Venom and Carnage in the first film. Making a Venom movie without Spider-Man means you straight away lose a massive chunk of the fan audience. Having Carnage as well as Venom would have provided added incentive for fans to give the movie a chance.
Somewhere along the way, however, the studio appears to have decided to keep Carnage in reserve for the sequel, Now, the character will be making his triumphant debut in 2021's Venom: Let there be Carnage, and fans are already hyped for the project despite scant details regarding its plot or actors beyond Hardy and Harrelson returning for the two lead roles.
Although few people believed the original Venom would be a hit, the movie's runaway box-office success has confirmed the popularity of the symbiote reaches far beyond hardcore comic book fans. Now, the Spider-Man cinematic universe under Sony is gearing up to become its own massive franchise, with new movies being planned for Venom, Carnage, the Sinister Six, Kraven, Morbius, and Black Cat.
Spidey himself will also be a part of the franchise, now that Disney has finally reached an agreement with Sony over sharing the rights to the character. Hopefully, Venom: Let there be Carnage will feature a cameo from the webbed wall-crawler, as Hardy has been hinting on social media, so fans can finally see Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage together on the big screen. This comes from The Venom Site.