Venom may have made over $850 million at the box office, proving to Sony that they could build their own lucrative Marvel universe even without Spider-Man, but it wasn’t exactly a great movie. Besides Tom Hardy’s entertainingly bizarre performance as the title character, there’s nothing particularly memorable about it at all, with the story as generic as it comes, some talented actors completely wasted in two-dimensional supporting roles and incredibly inconsistent CGI for a $100 million blockbuster.
That being said, there is renewed hope surrounding the upcoming Venom 2. Following his sequel-baiting cameo at the end of the first movie, Woody Harrelson takes center stage as Eddie Brock’s arch-nemesis and fan favorite villain Carnage, thankfully sporting a much better and more convincing wig than he did the first time round.
Original director Ruben Fleischer has also been replaced by Andy Serkis, and while it may only be his third feature, he’s proven to be a versatile filmmaker having made biopic Breathe and mo-cap adventure Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, as well as cutting his teeth on big budget blockbusters by shooting second unit on The Hobbit trilogy. At the very least, Serkis’ involvement guarantees the effects will be much improved for the symbiote’s return.
At times, the overall tone of Venom made it feel like it had arrived about a decade too late to the party, and despite the proposed R-rating for the sequel reportedly being nixed thanks to Birds of Prey’s disappointing performance at the box office, Venom 2 is apparently set to push the boundaries of what you can get away with in a PG-13 movie.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us about Disney developing a She-Hulk show back in April and that Bill Murray was returning for Ghostbusters: Afterlife – Venom 2 is set to be much darker than its predecessor, which often seemed confused about how to approach a psychotic alien symbiote forced into playing the role of an antihero by its host.
A character like Venom isn’t supposed to be treated with kid gloves, after all, and Sony would do well to take a different approach to the light and breezy adventures created by their counterparts over at Marvel Studios – even if they’re still keeping things PG-13. While it isn’t exactly going to be a graphically-violent and grim outing, at the very least, Venom 2 isn’t going to feature a repeat of the first installment’s infamous ‘turd in the wind’ speech and is, from what we’ve been told, more of a mature take on the property.