The Venom sequel at Sony just locked down its director in the form of mo-cap master Andy Serkis, writes The Hollywood Reporter. This will mark the actor's fourth time as director, his most recent effort being Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which was a darker take on Kipling's Jungle Book that debuted on Netflix. Per the report, Serkis flew to Los Angeles during the week of July 22 to speak with Sony execs about the job. Other stories around that time claimed that Travis Knight (Bumblebee) and Rupert Wyatt (Captive State) were also in the running.
Given his busy schedule with Zombieland: Double Tap, the ofiginal film's director, Ruben Fleischer, could not return to helm the sequel, but he leaves the blossoming franchise (the first movie brought in almost $900 million worldwide despite so-so reviews) in excellent hands. Serkis' tenure as Gollum and his work playing other CGI-heavy roles has imbued him with a great understanding of motion-capture technology to surely push the boundaries of Venom 2. At this time, Serkis is also slated to direct cinematic re-tellings of Animal Farm and Rumpelstiltskin.
Tom Hardy is returning to once again play Eddie Brock, a veteran investigative journalist who is now best friends with a pile of alien slime known as a Symbiote that turns him into a flesh-eating monster/do-gooder with razor-sharp teeth and a long slippery tongue. At the end of the last film, the two parties came to an understanding in which Venom can only kill and consume really, really bad people.
In a post-credits scene, Woody Harrelson briefly showed up as Cletus Kasady, a red-haired murderer also known as "Carnage" once he gets a Symbiote of his own. With such a high-profile cameo, it's probably safe to assume that Kasady will assume the role of the sequel's primary antagonist. However, it's uncertain if Michelle Williams will be returning as Eddie's girlfriend, Anne Weying.
"I only went in [to the new Venom] selfishly for one reason: to see whether he was gonna be big and gnarly," he said. "That's how I designed him. He's a monster. And Eddie Brock is buried in there. It's not Eddie Brock [who] turns into a monster; he's a monster that happens to disguise himself as Eddie Brock or whomever. To me, I just wanted to see a big hulking character, which the director, Ruben Fleischer, put on the screen."
There's no intel at the moment as to when Venom 2 is slated to hit theaters. Kelly Marcel — who penned the first film's screenplay with Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg — enjoys sole writing credit on this project. Hopefully, Eminem writes another song for it, too!