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Tom Hardy Called Andy Serkis for ‘Venom’ Motion Capture Help Before Deciding to Use CGI

Tom Hardy knew he had to consult with the best if he was going to take the motion capture route.

Tom Hardy, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage"

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Sony/Everett Collection

Tom Hardy did not use motion-capture technology to bring Venom to life in the eponymous 2018 comic book blockbuster, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t consider it. In a new interview with Uproxx, Gollum actor and motion-capture icon Andy Serkis revealed that he got a call from Hardy prior to the production of “Venom” asking if he would help him practice with motion-capture technology. Serkis and Hardy never coordinated beyond the call, but now Serkis is directing the actor in the highly anticipated “Venom” sequel, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”

“Tom and I knew each other a bit — have known each other for years and years and years and have wanted to work together for quite some time,” Serkis said about joining the “Venom” franchise. “And whether it be as actors or whether it was me directing. In fact, he called me before the first Venom and said, ‘Andy, I’m going to be doing this character and it’s going to be a digital character, and I wondered if I could come down to the Imaginarium,’ which is a performance-capture studio, ‘and do some sort of practice with performance capture.’ And at that time he was thinking of using it. But then I never heard from him again for a while. And then ‘Venom’ came out and I thought, ‘Oh, that was the character he was talking about.'”

Hardy previously explained to Total Film magazine why the original “Venom” did not use motion capture and instead took the CGI route in creating the character: “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. 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.”

When Andy Serkis was announced as the director of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” some fans wondered if that meant motion capture would be utilized on the sequel. However, the press notes for the film revealed that Serkis only utilized motion capture briefly and again stuck with CGI to create Venom.

“I’ve spent a considerable amount of my life playing a character with two sides to his personality,” Serkis said. “I knew that this film would be about how to free up Tom to imagine Venom’s presence. We knew it would not be helpful for him to act opposite a man in a suit, because Venom is a symbiote, coming out of him. We wanted to give Tom the freedom in his process to give the performance he wanted.”

“Venom” is set to open in theaters on October 1 from Sony Pictures.

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