All good things must end, and unfortunately for comic book lovers, it looks like Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man Universe is preparing to say farewell to one of their heavy hitters in the upcoming Venom 3 (2024): Tom Hardy’s journalist-turned-unlikely hero, Eddie Brock.
Tom Hardy’s Venom holding a chicken
Credit: Sony Pictures
When Sony and Marvel first introduced a rebooted version of the Lethal Protector back in 2018 with director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom, audiences weren’t exactly sure what to make of Tom Hardy’s take on the iconic supervillain. This Eddie Brock, now an awkward, bumbling sort of protagonist, was a far cry from the same alien symbiote played by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 (2007), but that didn’t mean fans weren’t receptive to the new movies.
Although Venom and its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), remain somewhat of a mixed bag with audiences, most would agree that the latter was an improvement over its predecessor. Still, many diehard comics fans believe Sony’s take on the titular Symbiote has veered too far from the original source material, instead leaning into a goofy, more lighthearted take on the character typical of most Marvel productions these days.
Although Sony’s Venom franchise has mainly existed within its own isolated universe, fans did get an exciting tease at the end of Let There Be Carnage. After Eddie and his gooey alter-ego defeat Woody Harrelson’s Carnage, the pair jets off to Mexico, where they can be seen relaxing on a beach. However, upon returning to their hotel room, Venom suddenly tells Eddie that Eddie has no idea how vast the universe is and that he is connected to a larger hive mind, all watching trashy TV.
Venom tells Eddie that he will show him a sliver of his own powers when the hotel room suddenly shifts into a new universe — presumably, the same one where the MCU takes place. On the TV is J. Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) doing a live newscast about Peter Parker (Tom Holland) after he’s outed as being Spider-Man. Venom then licks the TV when Peter’s face is shown and calls him “that guy,” indicating that the two have a shared history despite not actually meeting onscreen.
It’s vague enough to suggest that Marvel has — or, instead, had — a plan in mind for bringing the two characters together onscreen. And while the post-credits for Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), in which a Multiverse of Spiders collided in the MCU, shows a very drunk Eddie and Venom kicking it at the same hotel bar after being pulled from their own universe by Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), it never really goes anywhere, and the symbiote-host duo is snapped back to their reality — but not before Venom can leave a generous dab of his dark, sticky alien matter.
With this brief scene, it seemed like Marvel and Sony were finally ready to go all-in on bringing Tom Hardy’s Venom into the MCU. But with Marvel having released so many film entries and Disney+ series over the past couple of years, the studio has a lot of catching up to do with its many post-credits sequences, meaning this loose plot thread might not necessarily go anywhere.
And according to a new update from the Venom star himself, Holland’s Peter Parker and his Eddie Brock might never get the chance to meet after all. Despite the Multiverse Saga presenting the perfect opportunity for Sony’s corner of the Marvel universe to make its way into the MCU, it sounds like the upcoming Venom threequel will, sadly enough, mark Hardy’s last time playing the titular anti-hero.
Speaking in a lengthy Instagram post, Hardy offered an update on Venom 3, which has officially begun filming again now that the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes have been resolved, allowing Hollywood productions to resume. In the message, the actor thanked the “fantastic cast and crew” behind Venom 3, adding that it “continues to be a lot of fun” to play the character.
Notably, however, Hardy described the upcoming superhero movie as the “last dance,” describing his time on set with a pretty final-sounding note, implying that he’s gearing up to bid farewell to the Symbiote once and for all:
V3N0M 3 The Last dance – thankfully we are back to shooting; and I want to take a moment just to thank all the teams thus far on the ride from V1 to here all our fantastic Cast and crew- good friends and family – we’ve come a long way – it’s been and continues to be a lot of fun this journey there’s always hard turns to burn when we work but doesn’t feel as hard when you love what you do and when you know you have great material and the support at all sides, of a great team. surrounded by talented and passionate departments and when surrounded by people you love and care about it doesn’t get any better.
I want to mention very briefly how proud of my Director, writing partner and dear friend Kelly Marcel I am. watching you taking the helm on this one fills me with pride, it is an honour. Trust, your gut, your instincts are always spot on. First class – I back you. %. As always. And I absolutely love working with you and watching you take on bigger challenges everytime. And to my great friend, face plant chief operator and brother @jaketomuri Jacob you still look f all like me bro. Here’s to a great ride!!! #Venom3#team.
While it might be shocking to learn that Hardy could be saying “au revoir” to the character of Eddie Brock, this could simply be a case of Hardy’s contract with Sony coming to an end. Perhaps he penned this message to remind the studio of his contract, hoping to land another lucrative three-picture deal, in an incident not dissimilar to Tom Holland’s Sony/Marvel Spider-Man fiasco. Given the amount of set-up Marvel has undergone to introduce Venom to the MCU, it seems highly unlikely that the Venom threequel would be his final send-off — especially considering its stacked cast.
Tom Hardy as Venom
Credit: Sony Pictures
Plot details for Venom 3 remain scarce, but we do know that franchise veteran Kelly Marcel is taking up directing duties for the film. An impressive cast, including Doctor Strange (2016) alum Chiwetel Ejiofor and Ted Lasso regular Juno Temple, have also nabbed lead roles in the threequel, though their parts remain shrouded in mystery. As for its development, cameras had been rolling in Spain earlier this year before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike forced production to be halted.
Rumors stating that Venom 3 will see Eddie tracking down his world’s Peter Parker have made the rounds online, but fans shouldn’t place too much stock in those claims, as the web-slinger has supposedly been lined up to appear in each of the Lethal Protector’s previous movies, only for nothing to happen. And with Let There Be Carnage laying the foundation for a meeting between Holland’s Spidey and Hardy’s Eddie Brock, it would be counterintuitive for the threequel to introduce a new version of Peter Parker into the mix — that is unless Venom hails from the same reality as Andrew Garfield’s Spidey.
Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock standing in an apartment in Venom
Credit: Sony Pictures
For now, there’s no definitive word on whether or not Venom 3 will officially mark the end of the road for Hardy’s Lethal Protector or just the end of Sony’s Venom franchise. Fans should hold out hope for his return in upcoming MCU projects, especially with team-up flicks like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (2026) and Avengers: Secret Wars (2027) on the not-so-distant horizon. With the Multiverse Saga in full swing, there’s no better time for Marvel to add Venom into the mix.
Only time will tell if Tom Hardy is bluffing about Venom 3 being his “last dance” or if Marvel has some serious intentions for the character moving forward. Either way, fans should be optimistic Venom 3 will end the trilogy on a high note and hopefully pave the way for future Venom installments down the line.
Venom 3 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 8, 2024.