Thanks in large part to the mind-bending storyline of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is absolutely overstuffed with fan theories, predictions, and conspiracies.
The film’s mid-credits scene, particularly when paired with the bonkers post-credits scene from Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is prompting a wave of fresh theories about Venom’s future in the MCU. Will the Lethal Protector actually make his way into the next MCU Spider-Man release, or will Tom Holland instead appear in a Sony Venom release? If he shows up in the MCU, will Venom continue to be played by Tom Hardy, or will a new actor step in to take the mantle?
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Please proceed with caution if you have yet to see the film.
Will Venom soon be appearing in the MCU?
The mid-credits scene from Spider-Man: No Way Home clearly set the stage for some version of Venom to join the MCU. After spending a while discussing the new universe he’s found himself in with a local bartender, Sony’s Eddie Brock ⏤ played by Tom Hardy ⏤ decided that it was time to track down Spider-Man and sort things out for himself. Before he could do this, however, he was sent back to his own timeline. As he disappeared, a single glob of Venom goo was left behind, leaving a clear and easy tie-in for the MCU’s introduction of Venom.
This scene was unquestionably plugged into No Way Home as an explanation for Venom’s eventual entry into the MCU. The bigger question then become who, exactly, will play the Lethal Protector. Chances are good that Hardy — who has been broadly praised by fans for his performance as both Venom and Brock — will return for the role, but the complicated relationship between Disney and Sony could get in the way of this. In that instance, who might take on the mantle of Venom?
Who might play Venom in the MCU?
If Hardy does not return to the MCU as Venom/Brock, there is a laundry list of potential fan castings for who could tackle the role. It also hugely depends on if the MCU intends to bring the character of Venom into the story or if that glob of goo will instead turn into a new character from Marvel canon.
Venom fans already saw the introduction of Carnage in the franchise’s second release. Formerly known as Cletus Kasady, the character became Carnage after melding with a symbiote, resulting in a new, uncontrollable, symbiote-human hybrid. There are several more cousins to Venom in Marvel comics canon, and the scene at the end of No Way Home could have been teasing their introduction as opposed to Venom’s.
This seems reasonably unlikely, however, based on several factors. For one thing, Venom: Let There Be Carnage already introduced fans to alternate symbiotes, making it less likely that the MCU will attempt a similar story tactic. For another, the glob of goo was black. Most of the other symbiotes come in a range of colors, from red to green to even blue.
With all of this in mind, it seems very likely that the first symbiote to be introduced into the MCU will be Venom. Fans have been dreaming up their ideal castings for several years now, leaving us with no shortage of potential actors to play the character.
A Ranker article hilariously voted Tom Hardy to the top position among fans’ hopeful castings for the role of Eddie Brock. Whether the higher-ups at Sony were paying attention or not, fans hit that particular nail right on the head. As the caption under his post notes, Hardy’s “build,” “determination,” “vulnerability,” and “venomous tenacity” make him an excellent choice for the role.
Other options on that list, while not quite as popular as Hardy, also present intriguing options for the MCU’s potential Venom casting. Some of the actors listed include Jensen Ackles of Supernatural fame, who voters think could make an interesting addition to Spider-Man’s lineup of villains. He would bring quite a bit of experience to the role as well, considering the nearly 15 years he’s spent facing off against various supernatural baddies alongside his brother, played by Jared Padalecki.
Ackles has a slightly smaller frame than many of the other actors included on the list, likely due to Eddie Brock’s typically swole appearance. The character appears in most Spider-Man comics as an absolute beast of a man, which would make some of the other actors on the list excellent choices for him. Dominic Purcell, who played Lincoln in Prison Break, fits the bill perfectly as far as physical attributes goes, and he also sports a deep and weighty voice that could add drama to the role.
Also listed are actors like Dwayne Johnson and Jason Momoa, both of whom, like Purcell, have the body types to perfectly play Brock. Both have almost too much star power for the role, however, particularly Momoa, who already debuted as a superhero in the DC Universe’s Aquaman. While the Rock could certainly pull the role off, its nuances don’t quite align with the roles he typically takes on.
The same can be said for another fan casting: Joe Manganiello. While he is a fantastic option and a stellar actor, Manganiello is often a comedic actor. He’s appeared in a slew of comedies and television series, but has also seen his fair share of superhero action. He stepped in as the OG Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi’s early 2000s Spider-Man films and played Slade Wilson in 2017’s Justice League. He also has the body for the role, like many of the other actors on this list, which could make him an excellent choice.
The final fan casting that I couldn’t help but include on this list is Donald Glover as Eddie Brock. While Glover doesn’t have quite the number of hulking muscles many of the other men listed here sport, he does have a massive fan following online and is still a thoroughly fit man. Glover could bring a very new energy to the role, particularly given his well-honed comedic chops, and could also lean into the diversity the MCU has fought hard to incorporate.
The biggest issue with Glover stepping in as Venom is that he has already debuted in the MCU, and in a Spider-Man film, no less. He played a minor villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but his role may have been setting him up for a far larger role in the future. Many fans may not have caught that Glover’s went by Aaron Davis in the film, a name that fans of Into the Spider-Verse may recognize. That’s because he is Miles Morales’s uncle, also known as Prowler.
His original introduction into the MCU may well have simply been a nod to the character, but it could have also been an opportunity to set up a storyline that likely won’t come to pass for several more years. If this is the case, there is essentially no chance that Glover will play Venom, as the MCU has already carved out a future role for him.
There is additionally the possibility that the mid-credits scene isn’t even an attempt to bring Venom into the MCU at all. The portion of symbiote left behind could, instead, simply seek out and bond with Peter, reversing the original Venom origin story, and lead Holland’s Peter on a quest to find the remainder of the symbiote. It could present another opportunity to delve into the multiverse, and could ⏤ instead of setting up a new Venom ⏤ be the very first step toward introducing Holland’s Peter into Sony’s universe of Marvel characters.