Why Andy Serkis Is the Perfect Choice to Helm the 'Venom' Sequel!
The film is the highly anticipated followup to last year's hit super-villain caper starring Tom Hardy.
Sony has been on the hunt for some time now to find a suitable auteur of cinema to helm the sequel to one of their biggest 2018 films. Venom, the antihero movie that kicked off the studios Sony Universe of Marvel Characters, grossed an impressive $865 million at the box office. The film starred Tom Hardy, Riz Amed, and Michelle Willams. Venom was not well-received by critics, and it is far from perfect overall. Many things need to be addressed to get this sequel right and keep the franchise going. So, the news of who they got to direct the highly anticipated sequel is cause for some serious celebration.
Andy Serkis, the man known for putting motion capture on the map through so many iconic characters like King Kong, Gollum, and Cesar from the Planet of the Apes reboot film franchise, is set to direct the Venom sequel. Serkis is a seasoned expert when it comes to bringing CGI characters to life and is considered to be one of the best in the game. Considering Venom is a full CGI character, this is good news. His excellence in this field was undoubtedly a deciding factor for the studio in choosing him.
“I’m right at the beginning stages. I’ve got some very clear ideas about the journey I’d like to see visually and how we can take the characters into another dimension.”—Andy Serkis
While he has never directed a film on this scale, he has had success on his other two attempts. The 2017 film Breathe was well received, and Netflix’s Mowgli film is, in my opinion, the superior of the two live-action remakes of the classic tale. So the Venom sequel will be his third directorial endeavor and Serkis could not be more excited to get started. The accomplished director’s approach is to create an inclusive environment with all his collaborators, and a solid group of talent surrounds him on this one.
“What I’ve learned from directing full stop is you’re working with an extraordinarily team of highly talented people and to create an atmosphere where everyone is able to do their work to 150%. As much as anything, directing is about creating an atmosphere of people not being afraid to step forward with their very best work.”—Andy Serkis.
Among his many collaborators on this upcoming cinematic endeavor will be none other than the fantastic Michele Willaims. She flawlessly played Hardy's love interest and even hooked up with the symbiote at one point to become She-Venom, which would be nice to see more of in the next chapter. She is set to return along with Woody Harrelson. Harrelson made an appearance in the post-credits scene, letting fans know that Carnage was on the way. So suffice it to say that there will be plenty of CGI characters for Serkis to direct, which bodes well for the sequel. And of course, it wouldn't be a Venom movie if it wasn't for Tom Hardy. He'll be back as the titular character, and Serkis stated he has been hoping to collaborate with the actor for some time now.
“I’ve known Tom for many years and always admired him hugely as an actor and producer. We’ve always wanted to work together directly. I’m deeply excited to work with Tom Hardy and to work with all the great actors who are involved in it. It’s a fantastic franchise. I’m really honored to have been asked to direct it and it feels like it’s a very contemporary story. I think it’s going to be hopefully an extraordinary piece of cinema.”—Andy Serkis
Serkis will be working off of a script penned by the original film's writer Kelly Marcel. Marcel has been writing the movie with Tom Hardy. Hardy publicly stated his dismay that around 40 minutes of Venom footage was left on the cutting floor. Apparently, it was some solid stuff the actor had pulled off to really put his stamp on the character. But now that the film is a success, he will likely have more of a say going forward with the sequel. Serkis did confirm that Hardy is very involved in the writing with Marcel and that the story will focus on their take very much so.
“Tom is very involved with the writing with Kelly Marcel of the new story, so it’s very much centered around their take.”—Andy Serkis.
Some of the first film's significant criticisms revolved around the visual effects. The film's action sequences were good, but there were not many to speak of. For this to work, we will need to see more symbiote action and more Venom onscreen. If our antihero is planning to go toe-to-toe with Carnage, any fight sequences between the two need to be much better than the fight between Venom and Riot. Fans deserve something more than just two indistinguishable blobs bashing into each other. So the prescription for a successful sequel is more Venom, She-Venom, Carnage, and better put-together, action-packed moments. And Serkis seems more than capable of making sure this followup does not result in a sophomore slump.
Sony has announced two open slots for its Sony Universe of Marvel Character films. One of which July 10, 2020, and the other is October 2, 2020. Jared Leto’s Morbius film will likely land on the July date with the Serkis directed sequel falling into the October slot. This means that Venom’s sequel will release two years after the original, which I believe is very proper timing. This gives Serkis and company plenty of time to get the sequel right and for the all the hardworking VFX people to make sure the visuals are nothing short of magnificent. Serkis will definitely have his hands full when it comes to churning out another hit Venom movie, but one thing we all know for sure is that he has the people, the skills, and the experience to pull it off. When it comes to Marvel's favorite symbiote, in Serkis we trust!