EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Carnage will have company in Sony’s upcoming Venom sequel. The Marvel Comics character called Shriek has been incorporated into the plot of the Venom sequel (due in theaters on Oct. 2, 2020), according to two sources close to the project.
A Sony spokesman declined comment, citing the early-days status of the project, which won’t begin principle photography until early next year. The addition of Shriek is a logical choice considering the character’s history in the pages of Marvel Comics as the sonic-powered accomplice and romantic interest of serial killer Cletus Kasaday, aka Carnage, the monstrous archenemy of Venom.
The fan-favorite Carnage has been the presumptive primary villain for the Venom sequel since the first film arrived in theaters last October with a mid-credits preview scene that featured the uncredited Woody Harrelson as the menacing Kasaday.
Shriek has been closely associated with Carnage since her introduction in Spider-Man Unlimited No. 1 (May 1993) as part of the “Maximum Carnage” saga.
A drug dealer named Frances Barrison became the volatile Shriek after severe trauma allow her latent mutant powers to emerge. In the comics, those powers include sonic energy blasts, flight, and the ability to stir up dark and violent emotions in others.
The casting process is underway but so far the field of candidates for the Shriek role has been expanding, not narrowing. “Right now the role is not filled, the net is cast wide toward many kinds of actresses,” one source said, adding that the filmmakers are “looking mostly at unknowns right now.”
Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy, was the surprise sensation among 2018’s many superhero films. The $100 million production piled up $856 million in global box office, which includes the film’s lush $111 million opening weekend in China, which now stands as the all-time strongest debut for a Sony release in the coveted market.
Hardy returns for the sequel in the role of Eddie Brock, an abrasive journalist who comes in contact with an extraterrestrial organism that melds to his body to create the toothy super-powered beast called Venom. In the comics, that same organism also gives Kasaday his Carnage abilities.