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Tom Hardy ‘Spent Months’ Breaking ‘Venom 2’ Plot Over FaceTime, Earns First ‘Story By’ Credit

“He’s married to Venom,” screenwriter Kelly Marcel says of the franchise's leading star.

VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE, Tom Hardy as Venom, 2021.  © Sony Pictures Releasing / © Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection”

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Tom Hardy is the face of Sony’s “Venom” franchise, but he’s more than just the star of the upcoming sequel “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.” As confirmed by screenwriter Kelly Marcel in an interview with Empire magazine, Hardy is getting the first “story by” credit of his feature film career after “spending months” brainstorming the narrative for the sequel with Marcel. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” reunites Hardy and Michelle Williams opposite franchise newcomer Woody Harrelson as the eponymous villain.

“This is new for him, to get credit,” Marcel said, “but it’s not new for him to be this involved. He’s absolutely 100 percent committed to everything that he does. He’s married to Venom. He loves this character. He’s very involved in what he thinks should happen.”

As reported by Empire: “While Marcel gets the full screenplay credit, her script sprang from lengthy conversations with Hardy where they hashed out how exactly Venom and chaotic red symbiote Carnage (which attaches itself to Woody Harrelson’s serial killer Cletus Kasady) will collide on screen. ‘He doesn’t get a pen and write,’ explains Marcel of Hardy’s process. ‘We spent months breaking the story together on FaceTime, riffing on ideas, seeing what worked, seeing what didn’t. Then I took everything we spoke about and holed up somewhere for three months quietly, knocking out a script.'”

The original “Venom” script was written by Marcel, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg, with a “story by” credit given to Pinker and Rosenberg. Marcel gets sole screenwriting credit on the sequel, which has a lot of expectations to live up to after the first movie became a strong box office force with $856 million worldwide.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” finds Andy Serkis in the director’s chair for his fourth feature, with his catalog of films including “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle” from 2018 and the romance “Breathe” from 2017. Serkis is a motion capture legend thanks to his work on “The Lord of the Rings,” “King Kong,” and “Planet of the Apes.” Criticisms were mainly flung at the original “Venom” for its CGI — which requires Tom Hardy to be blended with the technology — so it stands to reason that Serkis will more fluidly integrate motion capture graphics into real-world settings than the first film did. Still, details on the film’s tech have been under wraps.

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is set to open in theaters on September 24.

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