When Sony, the cinematic rights holder for key Marvel superhero Spider-Man, agreed to a collaborative arrangement with Marvel Studios (allowing the latter to use the character in the MCU franchise, and also giving the former distribution rights to solo Spidey films with Marvel Studios co-producing), they managed to retain the right to make movies out of any Marvel characters tangentially connected to the Friendly Neighborhood hero. Their initial efforts are the 3D-animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and the live-action “Venom” starring Tom Hardy as the notorious alien-empowered Spider-Man antagonist and antihero. Despite negative reviews it broke some box office records in 2018, enough to warrant a sequel. And now the chosen director has been revealed.
Comic Book Resources tells us that Sony Pictures has finally decided on who will take over from Ruben Fleischer in directing the sequel to last year’s “Venom,” and rather appropriately for a lead character rendered in CGI they have gotten a true master in motion capture to handle things. It is none other than English actor filmmaker Andy Serkis, making this his debut at the chair of a superhero movie.
While he has not overseen filming of a super-film before, Serkis himself is a veteran performer in front of the camera for one. He figured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe itself as mercenary arms merchant Ulysses Klaue, who first appeared in 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and then in last year’s “Black Panther.” As for his other roles, he is famous for motion-capturing CGI characters like Gollum in “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies from New Line Cinema, as well as for Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg’s 3D-animated take on Belgian comics icon “Tin-Tin,” and Supreme Master Snoke of the First Order in the first two installments of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy.
The involvement of Andy Serkis in “Venom 2” first started gaining steam last month, following rumors of a meeting with Sony Pictures higher-ups. Then franchise lead Tom Hardy posted a photo of the director on his Instagram page last week, though he quickly deleted it. By now it appears the Sony studio has secured Serkis’ services, for he himself confirmed the news on his own Instagram, replying somewhat to Hardy’s deleted post. With $856 from the box office last October 2018, Sony is confident that a “Venom” sequel will earn some more and establish a franchise separate from that of Spider-Man which they share with Marvel Studios. No release date has been given, though a 2020 premiere is a possibility.
Image courtesy of Comic Book.com