Venom 2 has found its next host – Andy Serkis, the man behind the The Lord of the Rings‘ Gollum, will direct the Marvel sequel.
Rumour had it that Serkis was on a shortlist of directors to take over from the first film’s director, Ruben Fleischer (who is busy at work on Zombieland: Double Tap). However, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Monday night (August 5) that Serkis would officially be taking the lead on the next outing of the anti-hero.
Serkis shared a post on Instagram to celebrate:
This marks the first comicbook movie from the actor-turned-director, having only directed two features prior – 2017 medical drama Breathe and dark Jungle Book adaptation Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, released on Netflix in 2018.
THR reported that Serkis flew over to Los Angeles on July 22 to meet Sony officials regarding Venom 2. The first film raked in a massive $856 million worldwide.
Most will know Serkis for being a motion-capture extraordinaire. He made his name bringing The Lord of the Rings‘ and The Hobbit‘s Gollum to life in a way cinemas had never experienced, then going on to play Caesar with boundless realism in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise. He also played the villainous Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as Black Panther baddie, Klaw, and Kong in King Kong.
2018’s Venom starred Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a journalist who gets attached to an alien symbiote which gifts him with superhuman abilities. The sequel is expected to see him face off with Cletus Cassidy (played by Woody Harrelson, who made a last-minute cameo in the previous film), a serial killer who also gets attached to a symbiote and transforms into Carnage, Venom’s main adversary in the comics. Serkis has worked with Harrelson previously in War for the Planet of the Apes.
Though a Marvel film, Venom does not exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe we all know and love. Sony own a slew of Marvel characters, including Spider-Man. However, Marvel Studios and Sony came to an agreement in 2015 to allow the integration of Spider-Man into the MCU (following lacklustre efforts like The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
Venom, however, is part of Sony’s own Marvel universe, not associated with the MCU in any way whatsoever. That hasn’t stopped fans clambering for a crossover with Tom Holland’s friendly neighbourhood webslinger, however. Sony executive Amy Pascal told Fandango they have ‘big plans for Tom Holland to be a part of everything’, so just maybe, with a bit of luck, it’ll happen.
The first film may have made an impressive amount of money – but critically, it did not fare so well. It’s currently sitting at 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, and UNILAD called it our worst film of 2018.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.