It turns out Tom Hardy’s Venom is no match for the return of “The Matrix” franchise. Speaking to Screen Rant, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” location manager Christopher Kusiak revealed that filming Hardy’s comic book sequel had to be changed after Lana Wachowski’s “The Matrix Resurrections” set up shop in San Francisco. Both Hollywood tentpoles began filming in SF in February 2020 before the pandemic.
“Lots of stuff impacted filming,” Kusiak said. “A lot of our driving shots went away because ‘The Matrix’ controlled all of downtown…We ended up moving a stunt up onto the top of the parking garage because we couldn’t get to the areas we wanted because of ‘The Matrix.’ But if we would’ve been there first, it probably would’ve gone the other way.”
“The Matrix Resurrections” was so dominant in San Francisco that filming of the movie even found its way into the “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” theatrical cut. During a fight between Venom and Carnage that takes place on the Coit Tower, helicopters can be seen flying in the skies. Those helicopters were being used to film “The Matrix Resurrections.”
As Kusiak revealed: “The helicopters were actually on the ‘Matrix’ movie. ‘The Matrix’ was filming at the same time so we were catching part of their activity on camera.”
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” opened October 1 to an impressive $90 million at the U.S. box office, not just a record for the pandemic but also $10 million more than the original “Venom” opened to in 2018. The “Venom” sequel was released in exclusively in theaters, while Warner Bros. will be opening “The Matrix Resurrections” in theaters and on HBO Max starting December 22. Wachowski opted to shoot as much of the “Matrix” on location and with practical tools as possible.
“It didn’t feel large because it felt like she was in her sweet spot, which was filming on the fly, filming using natural light,” cast member Neil Patrick Harris told Variety. “Sometimes you’d sit around for an hour waiting for the clouds to clear, and then you’d quickly film.”
The actor continued, “You’d film pages at a time in 30 minutes and then be done. You would think that a giant movie would be 100% storyboarded, animatics, and we’d be checking off shots. I think she lived that before three times over, and I would suspect that she wants to do things her own way now. It wasn’t often that you felt that you were doing something gigantic because she made it feel very intimate.”