The following post contains major SPOILERS for the end of Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

I am of the opinion that Venom: Let There Be Carnage is a not a very good movie. Others may disagree about that, and they are well within their rights to do so. There is one aspect of the film, though, that will surely unite every audience that sees it, whether they love, hate, or are indifferent to it. And that is its post-credits scene, which has the chance to shake up not just the Venom franchise but the future of all Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

It takes place some time after the end of the main Let There Be Carnage storyline. Venom and Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) have gone on the lam because of all the chaos they caused in their battle with Carnage. Just before they credits roll, they sit on a tropical beach somewhere and make plans for their shared future. It’s a happy ending!

Not for long. After the credits roll, Venom and Eddie are back in their hotel room watching a telenovela. The two begin bickering, because that’s what they always do. Venom talks about how much smarter he is than Eddie, thanks to his access to the “80 billion years of hive knowledge” he possesses as an alien symbiote. Eddie claims he wants to share all of that information, but Venom warns him that trying to comprehend it all would fry his brain. Eventually Venom agrees to share “the smallest fraction of the things we symbiotes have experienced” with Eddie.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Right after Venom gives Eddie a taste of his symbiote brain or whatever, the room they are in changes. Their grungy and dim cabana is now a bright and clean hotel room. Instead of a telenovela on the screen, the TV is playing a Daily Bugle featuring J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson. In fact, it’s the same video as the one that ended Spider-Man: Far From Home, which revealed to the world that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker was Spidey — and allegedly also a murderer.

Venom is immediately intrigued by the figure on the television and licks the screen, at which point a guy walks out of the bathroom and asks Eddie “Dude, what are you doing in my room?” Eddie just shrugs. Cut to black.

While Spider-Man and Venom don’t technically interact in this scene, this is the first time the Venom franchise has acknowledged Spidey’s existence. The Tom Holland Spider-Man films — HomecomingFar From Home, and the upcoming No Way Home — take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony’s Spider-Man spinoffs films. Prior to that post-credits scene, the Venom franchise and the upcoming Morbius and Kraven the Hunter were all technically set in “Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.” These films star Marvel characters, and may contain allusions to MCU characters and events, but they’re considered a separate fictional entity, one that Marvel maintains relatively little creative input or oversight about. When Eddie Brock hopped from one room to another, he also clearly jumped  from Sony’s Spider-Man Universe to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, clearing the way for Venom and Spider-Man to finally meet.

But the implications are much larger than that. Marvel’s recent television shows like Loki and What If...? have established the concept of a multiverse, where an infinite number of realities all exist together simultaneously, each possessing different versions of familiar Marvel characters and events. So far, the alternate timelines audiences have seen have all been invented and controlled by Marvel. But Venom: Let There Be Carnage confirms Sony’s Spider-Man Universe as yet another part of that multiverse. Bringing Venom into Tom Holland’s world essentially means that any Marvel character from any movie could potentially return and join the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

They could use this same basic concept to introduce Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, or Nicolas Cage’s Ghost Rider, or Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four. (Well, maybe not that last one. That would be unfortunate.) Literally, nothing is off the board now.

The next question is whether this tease will be played off in some way in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s certainly plausible that it could. The film is about Spider-Man and Doctor Strange accidentally messing with the multiverse, triggering the returns of villains from previous Spider-Man movie series like Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Tom Hardy’s Venom would fit right in.

Even if he doesn’t play a role in the plot, he could still show up after the credits the same way J. Jonah. Jameson and Spider-Man did in Let There Be Carnage. Or Venom could appear in Marvel’s Eternals movie, or in the Hawkeye TV show. Both of those seem incredibly unlikely, but now they’re not impossible. And that’s pretty exciting, even if the rest of the Venom sequel is not.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in theaters now.

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