Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar

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Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar
Sony Pictures Releasing

When Tom Hardy’s “Venom” arrived in theaters back in 2018, audiences weren’t prepared for the dark action-comedy based on the Symbiote villain/part-time anti-hero. The reviews weren’t kind, as the Sony film has a 30% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but Marvel fans were clearly impressed since it has an 80% audience score. The Ruben Fleischer-directed movie tells a new version of Venom’s origin story, although the first film takes place outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It sees the Life Foundation, owned by the nefarious Carlton Drake, find a comet covered in symbiotes — and the company uses a probe to bring four samples back to Earth.

It isn’t long before investigative journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) bonds with one of the symbiotes, becoming the antihero, Venom, so they can reveal Carlton Drake’s crimes to the world. Although that’s not easy when Drake bonds with his own symbiote — Riot. A comic book movie where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero? Surely not!

But as sinister as the villain is, you might be wondering where you’ve seen him before. Well, here’s why Carlton Drake from Venom looks so familiar.

Riz Ahmed played a wannabe terrorist in Four Lions

Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar
Optimum Releasing

“Four Lions” is a critically acclaimed British black comedy that debuted back in 2010, and follows a cell of clumsy wannabe terrorists in the north of England. Riz Ahmed plays Omar, one of the only members of the group who has any idea of how to plan an attack — however, he’s also a little bit hapless at times too. The film was originally met with some backlash, since it obviously makes light of a serious issue.

However the satirical story garnered positive reviews, as Detroit News’ Tom Long wrote (via Rotten Tomatoes) that it “may seem profane to some, but if you’re doomed by watching it, at least you’ll go down laughing.” Even though the radicalized group seem devoted to their cause, their actions are actually counter-productive by the end of the film. It’s even revealed that Omar accidentally kills Osama Bin Laden during his training in Pakistan. “Four Lions” proves that Riz Ahmed can navigate difficult material with ease.

Riz Ahmed got into seedy journalism for Nightcrawler

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Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar
Open Road Films

In 2014, Riz Ahmed joined Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” which sees petty crook Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) leave his life of crime behind when he discovers he can make plenty of money filming violent accidents/attacks in Los Angeles and selling the footage to a TV station. After some success, Bloom hires Rick (Riz Ahmed) — an ambitious young man who just needs the money. But a rift grows between the two partners when Bloom starts fixing crime scenes to get better footage so he can ask for more money — and it gets worse when he starts holding evidence from the authorities.

Rick’s arc highlights just how dangerous unethical journalism can be, especially when the pursuit of violence hits a tragic end. Ahmed’s performance in the film works brilliantly against Gyllenhaal’s psychopathic Lou Bloom, and the dramatic finale packs a punch because of it. It’s no surprise that The Guardian named “Nightcrawler” one of the best movies of 2014.

Riz Ahmed got interdimensional with The OA

Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar

One of Netflix’s most infamously canceled shows is “The OA,” which followed Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling), a woman who resurfaces in the world after going missing for seven years. However, she was blind when she disappeared and when she returns she can see again. It’s eventually revealed that Johnson has the ability to open portals into other dimensions The streaming service canceled the show after two seasons, which led fans to start a campaign to persuade Netflix to renew the series for a third and final season.

Riz Ahmed shows up in “The OA” Season 1 and Season 2 as FBI therapist Elias Rahim, who clearly knows more than he’s letting on. He doesn’t appear much, but in Season 2, Episode 6, “Mirror, Mirror,” he meets up with the school disciples and dishes out some incredibly bizarre advice about traveling between dimensions. Unfortunately, his role wasn’t explored any further thanks to the show’s cancellation. But creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmangli had bigger plans for Elias further down the line.

Riz Ahmed fought the Empire in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Why Carlton Drake From Venom Looks So Familiar

Riz Ahmed joined the “Star Wars” galaxy back in 2016 as part of the “Rogue One” cast, where he played Imperial defector Bodhi Rook. The anthology movie focuses on the rag-tag team of fighters who steal the Death Star plans for the Rebel Alliance shortly before “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” kicks off. Bodhi starts the adventure off by bringing a holo-message from Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) to Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), explaining the Death Star’s weakness.

Bodhi has an interesting journey from Imperial pilot, to becoming a defector, and eventually becoming a key member of the “Rogue One” squad, even helping them assault the Imperial facility on Scarif Base. He’s the one who relays information to the Rebel fleet that they have to destroy the Imperials’ shield gate so Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) can transmit the Death Star plans. Unfortunately, we probably won’t see Riz Ahmed in a galaxy far, far away ever again, since Bodhi meets his untimely death on Scarif with the rest of the team.

All this is to say that audiences should keep an eye on Riz Ahmed in the next few years because he’s putting out some incredible work. He recently starred in the science-fiction thriller “Encounter,” which sees him try and save his two sons from an alien parasite that’s taken over the world. No, “Encounter” isn’t a “Venom” sequel, but it’s still worth your time.

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