Sony is moving “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” from September 24 to October 15 as the delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to increase cases and hospitalizations across the country. Will the “Venom” sequel be the first domino to fall and set off a chain reaction of release delays? It’s a question the industry is surely asking now that “Let There Be Carnage” has been delayed by three weeks. Marvel and Disney’s “Shang-Chi” remains set for a theatrical release September 3, while the James Bond tentpole “No Time to Die” remains set for October 8. The “Venom 2” move to October 15 puts it on the same date as Universal’s launch of “Halloween Kills.”
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is the latest directorial effort from motion capture genius Andy Serkis. A sequel to the critically-panned but hugely successful 2018 comic book tentpole “Venom,” which earned over $800 million at the worldwide box office, “Let There Be Carnage” finds Tom Hardy reprising his eponymous character opposite new cast addition Woody Harrelson as the villainous Carnage. The movie also marks the return of Michelle Williams to the franchise and the introduction of “Moonlight” Oscar nominee Naomie Harris as Shriek, the love interest for Carnage.
As revealed last month, Hardy is getting the first “story by” credit of his career on the “Venom” sequel after spending months brainstorming the narrative for “Let There Be Carnage” with screenwriter Kelly Marcel.
Sony remains committed to keeping “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” in theaters as it’s carrying the future of the studio’s entire Marvel universe on its back. The Jared Leto-starring “Morbius” movie and the J.C. Chandor-directed “Kraven the Hunter” movie will follow the “Venom” sequel in building out the Marvel-Sony universe, while Olivia Wilde is also developing a movie set within the world. Tom Hardy revealed this week he’s already eyeing a third “Venom” movie.
“I’m thinking about the third movie as well, because I think you need to write that at the same time,” Hardy told Esquire. “A third won’t be greenlit until the second is successful, but the studio [was] really, really pleased with number two.”
Could a third movie find Hardy’s Venom facing off against Spider-Man? The superhero is currently played by Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney shares the character with Sony at the moment, so Hardy won’t be able to come face to face with Holland until the Spider-Man rights revert back to Sony. Hardy hopes it can happen at some point down the road.
“Should both sides be willing, and it be beneficial to both sides, I don’t see why it couldn’t be,” Hardy said. “I hope and strongly, with both hands, push, eagerly, towards that potential, and would do anything to make that happen, within what’s right in business. But it would be foolish not to head towards the Olympic Games if you were running 100 meters, so yeah! I want to play on that field.”