Veteran motion-capture actor Andy Serkis has closed a deal to direct Sony Pictures’ Venom 2. Sony’s Venom was a surprise hit at the box office, cementing the studio’s plans for Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters to counter Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Venom, the story of down-on-his-luck reporter Eddie Brock and his encounter with the symbiotic alien Venom grossed $856 million at the box office. The film earned about $127 domestically in its opening weekend, briefly holding the box office record for highest October opening in the United States. While met with critical disdain, Venom has earned a devoted and loyal fanbase. Serkis took to social media to share the news with them.
Variety confirmed that Serkis, who in addition to his acting has also directed (Breathe, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle), would take over the directing gig, beating out a group of talent that included Travis Knight (Bumblebee), and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Ruben Fleischer helmed the previous film. Venom grossed $213 million domestically leaving Serkis shouldering Sony’s big expectations for the sequel.
Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks) will return to pen the film. Rumored for an October 2, 2020 release date, Venom‘s end credits scene teased Venom’s enemy Carnage. Brock encounters Cletus Kasady who promises that when he escapes prison there’s “Gonna be Carnage.” Presuming that Venom 2 will be the first appearance of Carnage, Venom fans will have high expectations of the serial killing symbiote. Michelle Williams is also rumored to return.
Attaching Serkis to the film is a smart move for a film that garnered a degree of criticism when it came to its CGI. An actor/director with extensive familiarity with CGI and mocap technology could craft some beautiful scenes for the film.
There’s a lot riding on Venom 2. Despite Serkis’s on-camera experience, his directorial experience is limited to the Netflix film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and the 2017 biopic Breathe. Jumping from one indie film isn’t unusual in Hollywood, but with fans expecting to see Carnage in all his terrifying glory, Serkis will have to truly achieve symbiosis with the film in order to meet Sony’s goals and exceed them.
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