With Tom Hardy reprising the title role, Andy Serkis is set to direct “Venom 2,” the sequel to Sony Pictures’ 2018 Marvel movie that nabbed $855 million at the global box office. This is the fourth film to be directed by the “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Lord of the Rings” actor following “Breathe,” “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,” and the filmed hip-hop performance piece “The Ruins of Empires” for British television.
“Venom,” which received abysmal reviews despite making bank, starred Tom Hardy as investigative journalist Eddie Brock, whose body becomes host to an alien parasite that endows him with superhuman abilities. The film co-starred Michelle Williams as Brock’s embittered district attorney ex-fiancée, as well as Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott.
Many audiences and critics felt the film was a creative failure, despite some cult-like appreciation down the line. Co-creator Todd McFarlane, however, was happy with the film. “This thing delivered everything it was supposed to. It was gnarly, it was nasty, it has a big cool Venom,” he said. (Read IndieWire’s take on the film here.)
There was controversy among fans at the time of the film’s release surrounding the fact that English actor Hardy did not, as is de rigueur for Marvel Cinematic Universe stars, wear a motion-capture suit (e.g., Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk and Josh Brolin as Thanos). His seven-foot-tall “Venom” character — with his snakelike tongue, rictus grin, undulating tentacles, and psychotic bug eyes — is made entirely of CGI. Therefore, it remains unclear how many of Tom Hardy’s scenes the actor actually performed in, and if his performance was all computer animation. With motion-capture master Andy Serkis at the sequel’s helm, you can imagine that he will at least want Hardy to give it a shot to bring more of his physicality and mannerisms to Venom.
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“It wasn’t motion-capture, because the eyeballs on the creature, on Venom, and the mouth, they don’t match with my eyeballs and mouth,” Hardy told Total Film Magazine. “So the mo-cap treatment went out of the window pretty quickly… Facially, your eyes and teeth and tongue are not going to match with this. And you need a seven-foot tall basketball player in a Lycra suit for the physical shots.”
“Venom” for Sony is the first of many expected “Spider-Man” spinoff movies to come from the studio.