The third installment of the Venom franchise is set to hit theaters in 2024, but many fans are not convinced that the film will deliver on its promises. The Venom series, which stars Tom Hardy as the anti-hero Eddie Brock and his symbiotic alter ego, has been a commercial success, but has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. The first film, released in 2018, was criticized for its weak plot, inconsistent tone, and lack of connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The second film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, which came out in 2021, improved on some aspects, such as the humor and the action scenes, but still suffered from a rushed and predictable story, a bland villain, and a wasted cameo from Spider-Man.
The third film, tentatively titled Venom 3, is supposed to be the culmination of the Venom saga, and the launchpad for Sony’s own cinematic universe of Marvel villains, dubbed the Villain-Verse. The film is rumored to feature Woody Harrelson as Carnage, Naomie Harris as Shriek, Jared Leto as Morbius, and Tom Holland as Spider-Man. The plot is said to involve a multiverse crossover, where Venom and his allies have to face off against an army of symbiotes from different dimensions. The film is also expected to tie in with other upcoming Sony projects, such as Kraven the Hunter, Black Cat, and Silver Sable.
However, many fans are skeptical about the quality and direction of Venom 3 and the Villain-Verse. Some of the reasons for their doubts are the lack of creative vision and consistency, the over-reliance on fan service and nostalgia, and the lack of originality and innovation.
Unlike the MCU, which has a clear plan and a cohesive narrative for its films, the Venom series seems to be making things up as it goes along. The tone and style of the films vary wildly, from dark and gritty to comedic and campy. The films also have different writers and directors, who have different interpretations of the characters and the source material. The result is a disjointed and confusing franchise that does not have a clear identity or direction.
Instead of developing original and compelling stories and characters, the Venom series seems to be relying on familiar names and faces to attract audiences. The films are filled with references and easter eggs to the comics and other Marvel films, but they often feel forced and superficial. The films also seem to be banking on the popularity of Spider-Man, who is arguably the most iconic Marvel hero, but who has little to do with Venom’s own story arc. The films are trying to capitalize on the hype and excitement of the multiverse concept, which was introduced by the MCU’s Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home, but they risk being overshadowed by those films.
The Venom series does not offer anything new or fresh to the superhero genre. The films follow the same formula and tropes as many other comic book adaptations, such as the origin story, the love interest, the comic relief sidekick, the evil corporation, the mad scientist, the big CGI battle, etc. The films do not explore the themes or potential of Venom as a character, such as his moral ambiguity, his psychological conflict, his relationship with Eddie Brock, his role in society, etc. The films also do not take advantage of the unique abilities and features of Venom and his symbiotic counterparts, such as their shape-shifting, their bonding process, their weaknesses, their personalities, etc.