A standalone “Venom” picture, almost wholly divorced from the “Spider-Man” sector of the Marvel universe, might have appeared strange only a few years ago. Following the box office success of “Venom” in 2018 and the upcoming release of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” in 2021, the symbiotic antihero has established himself as one of the most important characters in the Sony-owned Marvel roster, as well as the protagonist of a multibillion-dollar franchise (per The Numbers). Tom Hardy has firmly established himself as Eddie Brock’s extraterrestrial counterpart, and the character’s future appears to be bright.

With that in mind, and as “Let There Be Carnage” fades from view, fans are already speculating about the twists and turns in store for Venom in a third installment that is all but assured.

There have been a lot of suggestions about where the series and the main character may go from here — especially in the mid-credits shock in the final film — but few definitive answers. With that in mind, it’s time to get right in and look at some of the most important aspects of “Venom 3,” as it’s presently known.

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Is Venom 3 getting a release date?

There is currently no release date set for the third “Venom” film, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, movie release dates have continued to shift around (albeit much less than before), it appears that Sony is simply waiting to see how the latest film is received before moving forward with Tom Hardy’s next appearance.

Given how linked his destiny currently appears to be with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, this seems particularly plausible (more on that later).

It is unknown when “Venom 3” will be released. As of today, Sony has recently released “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” and the Jared Leto-led “Morbius” film is planned to premiere on April 1, 2022. It’s probable that no concrete news for the “Venom 3” theatrical release will be made until both of those films have had their chance to shine in theatres, in the spirit of allowing those pictures to breathe.

Given Sony’s penchant for surprising moviegoers with fan service in recent flicks, those films might possibly provide precise hints as to when “Venom 3” will be released. Time will tell if this is the case.

Who may be in Venom 3’s cast?

There are currently few solid answers in terms of the cast roster for a potential third “Venom” picture, especially given that the second film closes with Eddie Brock and his titular symbiote going through some significant alterations. Regardless of the film’s final form, Tom Hardy must reprise his roles as Eddie and as the voice of the symbiote that enables him. Hardy has established himself as the “Venom” series’ heart and soul over the course of two movies, thus a third “Venom” is very certain to feature him.

Things get a little more intriguing when it comes to the supporting characters. Michelle Williams and Reid Scott as Ann and Dan would almost certainly make sense if the script called for it, but with Eddie and Venom currently on the run, it’s not a given.

Meanwhile, the return of either Carnage (Woody Harrelson) or Shriek (Naomie Harris) seems less likely, given that they were both seemingly killed in the second film’s climax — though never say never because the comic book Carnage has resurrected from worse deaths before — “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” does set up a future for Stephen Graham’s Patrick Mulligan, who in the comics becomes an antihero named Tox Finally, “Let There Be Carnage” finishes with Venom and Eddie arriving in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so all eyes are on Marvel and Sony to match Tom Holland’s Spider-Man against Hardy.

What would Venom 3’s plot entail?

At this moment, there is no confirmed storyline information for the third edition of the “Venom” franchise. However, there is a definite plan in place for Venom and Eddie’s next adventure.

Eddie and his symbiote companion are inexplicably transferred to the main Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, inhabited by Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, during the mid-credits stinger for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” This occurs immediately after the symbiote mentions being aware of various worlds, implying that the anti-next hero’s film might be a multiverse adventure, similar to upcoming Marvel films such as “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

While it’s clear that Venom and Spider-Man will cross paths in the future, especially with this multiverse twist in place — as “Let There Be Carnage” director Andy Serkis confirmed, “Of course, it’s going to happen” — it’s unclear whether this will happen in “Venom 3,” a fourth “Spider-Man” film, or a separate “Spider-Man vs. Venom” crossover film.

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Whether Venom and Spider-Man collide in “Venom 3” or not, it’s presently unknown whether story aspects from the last “Venom” film will be revisited in his next solo voyage.

Carnage, Venom’s archenemy in the comics, appears to have died, which is a major flaw. Meanwhile, the film establishes Stephen Graham as a major opponent, although it’s uncertain whether he’ll take on the role of Toxin in the same way as in the comics, as the film suggests a different strategy. There’s also the threat of Knull, the King in Black and creator of all symbiotes, landing on Earth. However, for the time being, this is just conjecture.