Rumors move fast in the Hollywood business, and sometimes what’s valid and in the running one day becomes debunked the next. Sometimes though, rumors pan out, and the truth is soon revealed. Much like today, when Andy Serkis was confirmed as the director for Sony’s Venom 2.
After a weekend of whispers of meetings between Andy Serkis and Sony, as well as a tease from Tom Hardy, the former baddie from Black Panther is now going to go behind the cameras to craft a superpowered flick of his own. Which is fantastic, because as far as I’m concerned, Andy Serkis is the best damned option for directing Venom 2. Here are the reasons why.
Andy Serkis’s Name Is A Potential Draw For Non-Venom Fans
Before we go too far, I must vouch for myself as someone who wasn’t a big fan of the first Venom film. It felt like another low-rent remake of The Mask, and that title was previously held by the equally disappointing Spider-Man 3. It was a precedent that made the eventual announcement of a sequel a frightful prospect.
Now, with Andy Serkis announced to direct Venom 2, there’s hope for a better, more cohesive sequel. There are a lot of components that go into this hopeful attitude, but with Sony taking the approach of hiring a director as fresh and fantastic as Serkis, it could be enough to boost those grosses for the sequel by bringing people who wrote the first film off back to the table.
His Extensive Mo-Cap Experience Would Be Perfect For Venom 2
One of the things that kind of sucked about Venom was that it didn’t use the industry accepted/really cool strategy of putting its lead actor into a motion-capture suit for their CG character. According to Tom Hardy himself, the stature of the character would have been too difficult to scale down to a more practical approach.
An early pioneer of the technology and a practiced performer in the mo-cap world, Andy Serkis being the director could probably mean that his production company, The Imaginarium, would be involved with the filming of Venom 2. Meaning that if anyone could overcome that hurdle, leading to a more organic blend between Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his symbiote alter-ego, it’d Serkis without a question.
Andy Serkis Is Already A Marvel Studios Veteran
Thanks to his appearances as in Ulysses Klaue in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther, Andy Serkis has indeed gotten some experience in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to acting, his Imaginarium also provided mo-cap services for Avengers: Age of Ultron, so there’s a technical experience background in the world of superheroes as well.
Both sides of the camera have given Andy Serkis a unique skill set to bring some that MCU sheen and panache over to a universe that exists adjacent to that larger world. While it hasn’t been directly tied into the fold just yet, a better quality Venom 2 could mean that these universes are one step closer to actually colliding.
Tom Hardy Already Approved Of His Potential Venom 2 Hiring
If your lead actor can get behind your choice of director, then most of the groundwork is already there for your film to succeed. During the rumor phase of Andy Serkis’ connection to Venom 2, Tom Hardy certainly sent signals of approval by crafting an Instagram tweet that basically called Serkis’ candidacy fire. This confirmed his hiring could turn Venom 2 into a full five alarm fire of chemistry between the film’s new director and its returning star.
That not only means the motion-capture subject could very easily be revisited, but the performance we get out of Tom Hardy on either side of his character’s mental coin could be that much better. And if there was anything good to be highlighted in Venom, it was how Hardy could deliver a somewhat entertaining performance built on inferior material.
Seeing Woody Harrelson And Andy Serkis Reuniting Could Amp Things Up
Working as enemies in War for the Planet of the Apes, Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis gave audiences a showdown that delivered an emotional close to a trilogy that kept getting better with each step forward. It’s one of those connections that you can bet came up as one of the first thoughts when hearing Serkis was going to possibly be on board for Venom 2.
Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage, was tipped as the big bad for Venom 2, thanks to a short but sweet mid-credits sequence that promised the future was gonna be filled with carnage. As an actor, and now director, Andy Serkis knows what he needs to do in order to bring out the best performance he can from Harrelson, meaning that even if this sequel is a PG-13 blockbuster, things will still get pretty damned dark.
Walking The Line Between Tones Is An Andy Serkis Specialty
Not everyone knows it, but Andy Serkis’ Mowgli: King of the Jungle is an absolute gem when it comes to the films of Netflix’s original acquisitions. Taking Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and adapting it into a product that distances itself from Disney’s live-action remake, the film had a darkness to it that had never been seen in a previous adaptation of the story – and it was still a PG-13 movie you could watch with older kids.
Producer Avi Arad has gone on record as wanting to keep the Venom series PG-13, so it’s more than likely that the R-rated barrier for Marvel’s modern film output won’t be broken just yet. That concern doesn’t matter that much with Andy Serkis on board, as his ability to balance tones has been seen as early as his performance as Gollum in The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Mowgli’s sharpening of his skills only makes this an even better possibility for Venom 2 to get an upgrade.
A director is only as good as his tools and materials, so while Andy Serkis’ chops as a helmer might make a lot of difference for Venom 2, the film’s script will be another hurdle his skills will have to cross. Though with Kelly Marcel being the only remaining writer from Venom, the change in writer’s room might be another easy way for this film to succeed. Time, as usual, will be the judge, but for now, Venom 2 is looking mighty exciting!
Venom 2 has no official release date, but has been speculated as the film that will fill the “Untitled Sony/Marvel Sequel” slot of October 2, 2020. As soon as any further information in that front is presented, we’ll break those updates as soon as they occur. Meanwhile, the 2019 release schedule will be your best friend to finding your next adventure at the movies.