Diehard fans can get toxic when their expectations for a comic book movie aren’t met, which is why “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” VFX supervisor Sheena Duggal was smart to investigate fan demand for the look of Woody Harrelson’s Carnage. Speaking to Variety, Dougal said that she consulted fan forums like Reddit and social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram while planning the Carnage transformation VFX for the film’s Ravencroft breakout sequence.
“I wanted to see what [fans] wanted from this character and what behavior and look was important to them,” Duggal said. “We wanted fans to be very happy with this.”
Duggal knew keeping fans happy meant also consulting with the original comic books, but not everything Carnage did in the source material was allowed to translate to the Sony-backed release. Duggal was inspired by one comic to create a VFX sequence for the movie in which Carnage kills someone by sticking his tongue down a throat, but that was too extreme for the theatrical cut.
“We had to tone that back a bit,” Duggal said. “He does it with a tentacle [in the comics], but I thought it would be fun to have him use his tongue to add that extra gruesome element.”
Duggal also looked at “how animals use weapons in nature” when figuring out the VFX needed to bring to life Carnage and his tentacles. As the supervisor explained, “The way a scorpion moves its tail behind its head and moves it forward in this threatening way, I thought, ‘Let’s do that with Carnage.’”
Fans have certainly been happy “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” so far. The movie earned $90 million at the box office during its opening weekend, the highest debut gross of the pandemic so far and $10 million more than the original “Venom” earned in 2018. Critics were more mixed on the film, with IndieWire’s Kate Erbland awarding “Let There Be Carnage” a C+ review.
“’Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ is at its best — and its most unique, amusing, and fresh — when it’s tossing out expectations and letting its freak flag fly,” Erbland writes. “There doesn’t need to be carnage (or, hell, even Carnage), there just needs to be Venom, and more of it.”
“Venom: Let Their Be Carnage” is now playing in theaters nationwide.