Marvel Studios can use Spider-Man (Tom Holland) thanks to a rights-sharing deal with Sony. But that hasn’t stopped Sony from also developing their own universe of films based around important side characters from the Spider-Man comics. VENOM was a huge hit, and the studio is about to release MORBIUS, with Jared Leto starring as the Living Vampire.
Looking beyond that, Sony also is hard at work on VENOM 2, which will continue the story of news reporter Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) and the alien symbiote that has bonded with his soul. There have been some significant developments when it comes to VENOM 2, which actually will be here sooner than you might expect. Let’s dive into all of the details that we know about the upcoming chapter in Brock’s terrifying story.
When Does Venom 2 Open?
Later this year, actually! In a calendar year that already is stacked with comic book adaptations that include BLACK WIDOW, WONDER WOMAN 1984 and ETERNALS, Sony will drop VENOM 2 into theatres on October 2, 2020. That puts it in the same window as the last VENOM movie, which opened on October 5, 2018, and enjoyed very little blockbuster competition, allowing it to crush at the box office.
Who Is Directing Venom 2?
ZOMBIELAND and ZOMBIELAND 2 director Ruben Fleischer helmed the initial VENOM, but his demands on DOUBLE TAP meant that he couldn’t helm VENOM 2 and have it still make its planned release date. Sony then turned to Andy Serkis, respected actor and burgeoning director, to take over the VENOM franchise. Serkis has a ton of experience using motion-capture technology, and his knowledge could improve the design and presentation of the symbiote. We’re very excited to see what cool new ideas Serkis brings to VENOM 2.
Who Stars in Venom 2?
Two major stars will go head to head in VENOM 2, based on the tease that was included in the mid-credits sequence of VENOM.
In that scene, Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock visited a prison inmate named Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). He’s a homicidal maniac, and he’s contained in a Hannibal Lecter-type jail cell, but he’s already taunting Eddie with his escape plans. Marvel Comics fans know that Cletus Kasady also interacts with the alien symbiote that created Venom, turning him into Carnage. We expect that to happen in VENOM 2.
Additionally, returning cast members are rumored to include Michelle Williams, playing Eddie’s love interest, Anne. And her boyfriend, Dr. Dan Lewis, is rumored to be portrayed by Reid Scott once again. There were casting rumors that MOONLIGHT and SKYFALL star Naomie Harris will join the fray as the sinister Shriek, though that has not been confirmed at this time.
What Will Venom 2 Be Rated?
We don’t know for certain, as Andy Serkis currently is still filming VENOM 2, so the MPAA hasn’t yet seen any footage from the movie. We expect that the sequel will be PG-13, because the original VENOM was PG-13 and went on to gross $856 million in worldwide tickets sold.
However, the recent success of JOKER at Warner Bros. being another movie centered on a villain and embracing its R rating means that Sony might have to think about going all in on a graphic, gory battle between Venom and Carnage that leans into the horror aspect of their shared story.
In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, VENOM 2 producer Matt Tolmach discussed the R rating and its relationship with comic book properties like JOKER. He said, "I think you always have to think about [it], now that that works. Having said that, our movie worked really well. Our franchise exists as it is, and I don't think anybody is looking to just say, 'Hey, they [did it]!' We have a place in the world. So, it isn't like suddenly everybody's considering what to do with the rating.
"I think what JOKER does is it tells you that you can succeed. For a very long time, that was the narrative. And DEADPOOL sort of wrestled that to the turf, and then LOGAN," Tolmach continued. "But for a long time, that was considered totally forbidden. … So, you know, I think it's the greatest thing in the world that R-rated movies are being embraced by massive audiences. And it just means that there are more opportunities for that kind of storytelling."
Is There a Trailer for Venom 2?
Not at the moment, no. The sequel is still in production, and the VENOM effects tend to rely heavily on post-production visual effects. The first official trailer for the original VENOM dropped on April 23, 2018, so it makes sense that VENOM 2 also will have its first trailer ready by April of this year.
What Will Venom 2 Be About?
It’s hard to predict what traditional comic book story a movie like VENOM 2 could adapt, because there’s always going to be one key ingredient missing: Spider-Man. While there is a very real possibility that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man eventually will cross over to the Sony universe, for the moment, VENOM 2 will pull its story from a non-Spidey narrative.
If the original VENOM based its structure loosely on the 1993 limited-run story "Venom: Lethal Protector," then the best guess for a Carnage adaptation would also be 1993’s "Maximum Carnage" storyline, which also featured Shriek. The Carnage stories can be somewhat similar, with Cletus breaking out of prison thanks to the help of his symbiote partner, and then going on a vicious killing spree. Since Spider-Man won’t be around to stop him, Venom (Tom Hardy) is going to have to assume the role of antihero and face off against his new enemy.
The biggest difference between Venom and Carnage, as will likely be explored in VENOM 2, is that Eddie Brock has somewhat of a conscience, while Cletus Kasady is an unapologetic murderer. Their personalities are both enhanced by the symbiotes to which they bond, so Carnage creates chaos with no remorse. Brock will need every trick in the book to stop him.
VENOM 2 currently is filming, with Andy Serkis at the helm. It is aiming to reach theatres on October 2, 2020, so check back for more updates and tickets.