Even as Sony Pictures has been playing nice with Marvel Studios (momentary hiccups aside) to ensure Spider-Man is available for participating in the MCU film-verse, the former has been making inroads towards establishing its own Marvel movie series featuring characters associated with the Spider-Man franchise. Their first entry here, starring Tom Hardy, was 2018’s “Venom,” based on an (originally) antagonistic character to the Friendly Neighborhood Wall-Crawler who becomes a violent antihero. The film beat negative reviews to gain notable box-office success, such that Sony announced in 2019 that a sequel will build on the movie’s post-credit scene. The pandemic scrubbed its October 2020 release date, and again delayed this year’s.
Variety would have it that Sony Pictures is erring on the side of caution by once more bumping off the premiere of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” the sequel to the 2018 movie that kick-started the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC). It original release date late last year had already been rescheduled for June 25, 2021. However the specter of COVID-19 has compelled the studio to let it wait for an additional three months. Now it is expected to premiere on September 17.
Pushing back “Let There Be Carnage” a second time might come off as prudent. Although New York City and Los Angeles cinemas are already back in business, the US box office is still too small. There is also the max occupancy restriction to consider, as the second “Venom” and other movies will be making less for each full screening done in a day. Not helping is the fact that the latest COVID-related reschedule of Universal Studios’ “Fast & Furious 9” was in June. Had Sony retained the date, two blockbusters opening simultaneously in pandemic-limited movie theaters would be financially disastrous.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” again brings back Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams and Reid Scott from the original, under new director Andy Serkis taking over from Ruben Fleischer. The film sees Hardy’s Eddie Brock and his alien symbiotic companion Venom take on insane serial killer Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who gains his own symbiote to become the monstrous Carnage. Naomie Harris, Stephen Graham and Sean Delaney also star. The film releases September 17, while another SPUMC movie, “Morbius” starring Jared Leto, premieres on January 2022 (being moved from July 2020).
Image from Comic Book Resources