Sony Pictures has announced that the studio is delaying the release of its “Venom” sequel, pushing it from October 2020 to June 2021. The sequel also now has an official title: “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” Critics were not kind to the original 2018 comic book tentpole starring Tom Hardy as the notorious Spider-Man villain, but that did not stop it from being a worldwide smash hit with just over $850 million at the box office.
Hardy is back in the title role, as is Michelle Williams as love interest Anne Weying. The sequel pits Venom against Carnage, played by Woody Harrelson. The actor first appeared as the flame-haired character in the “Venom” post-credits sequence. “Moonlight” Oscar nominee Naomie Harris is also a new addition as Shriek, Carnage’s love interest.
“Venom: There Will Be Carnage” finds Andy Serkis in the director’s chair, replacing the original film’s director Ruben Fleischer. Serkis is a motion capture icon thanks to his work on “The Lord of the Rings,” “King Kong,” and “Planet of the Apes,” so it stands to reason he’ll be able to integrate the CGI Venom character into real-world settings more seamlessly than Fleischer did on the first film. Hardy did not use motion capture on the first “Venom,” and it hasn’t been revealed whether or not Serkis introduced the technology for the sequel.
“Venom: There Will Be Carnage” also boasts as a new screenwriter in Kelly Marcel and a new cinematographer in Oscar winner Robert Richardson, best known for his longtime collaboration with Quentin Tarantino.
“I would say yes anyway to Andy Serkis just because I would say yes to Andy, but I also think [Venom] is unexplored yet, and it’s going to explode,” Richardson said to Collider last year about joining the film, his first comic book project. “This film, I think, will help it explode, because you have a remarkable central character with Venom, but now you’ve got Woody Harrelson, who’s going to obviously make his own little entrance here. I look forward to it. It’s a massive change for me, but I’m excited. I think Hardy is one of our best. He never misses. I so look forward to sitting with him and watching him perform”
Sony is releasing “Venom: There Will Be Carnage” in theaters nationwide on June 25, 2021.