This article has been updated.
Hot on the heels of the news that performance capture king Andy Serkis will be directing Venom 2, the incoming filmmaker has been speaking about his “clear vision” for the symbiote sequel and the involvement of star Tom Hardy in the writing of the script.
Serkis spoke about the project at a press conference to promote his role in a new TV version of A Christmas Carol, as reported by Gamespot, the day after his announcement as director. “I’m right in the beginning stages,” Serkis confirmed, “so I’ve got some very clear ideas about the journey, [and what] I’d like to see visually, and how we can take the characters into another direction.”
Serkis also revealed that Tom Hardy, who’ll be back in the lead role of Eddie Brock/Venom, is getting “very involved” with the writing of the film’s script, alongside returning screenwriter and Hardy’s long-time pal, Kelly Marcel. “It’s very much centered around their take,” the director explained.
Exactly what their “take” involves is anyone’s guess at this stage, although there’s a fair chance that Woody Harrelson could show up in a ridiculous wig to give life to Cletus Kasady – better known as the grotesque red symbiote, Carnage. After all, the ending of Venom didn’t make it look likely that the villainous Riz Ahmed would return, and the post-credits scene gave us our first tease of Harrelson as Carnage. Plus, Serkis has previous form with Harrelson: they starred opposite each other in War For The Planet Of The Apes.
The new director didn’t mention specifics, instead focusing on his enthusiasm for the task ahead. “I’m excited to work with all the great actors who are involved,” he said. “It’s a fantastic franchise. I’m really honored to have been asked to direct it. And it feels like it’s a very…contemporary story.”
Serkis is an interesting choice to oversee the sequel’s production. He has directed before, cutting his teeth as the second unit director on The Hobbit films before helming his own projects such as Andrew Garfield/Claire Foy drama Breathe and Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle, Netflix’s own take on the Jungle Book tales.
Meanwhile, Serkis’ experience doing motion-capture performances for films like the recent Planet Of The Apes films, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and his brilliant turn as Gollum in the Lord Of The Rings movies means that maybe, just maybe, we’ll be getting more symbiote action in the sequel. If Sony intends to curate their own corner of the Spider-Man universe, upping the ante here would probably help their case.
Ruben Fleischer directed the first Venom movie, but he’s a bit busy now with Zombieland 2: Double Tap, which recently dropped its first trailer and announced a tie-in video game. Serkis confirmed his appointment as the Venom 2 director with an Instagram post…
Venom 2 doesn’t have a release date just yet, but Sony had long ago marked off 2 October 2020 as an “untitled Spider-Man movie”. Considering how well the first Venom movie did with an October release – garnering a strong box-office return despite not particularly glowing reviews – it would make sense for them to drop this one there, too.
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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