It's official: Andy Serkis is directing Venom 2. This initially started as a rumor not long ago, as Serkis was said to be on Sony's shortlist of directors for the sequel, which also included the likes of Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Travis Knight (Bumblebee). However, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Serkis landed the gig.
The actor-turned-director took to Twitter to confirm the news personally. Have a look.
"It's actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I'm ready for the ride…Can't wait," Serkis wrote in the caption he provided with the photo. Serkis is best known for his work as a pioneer in the field of motion capture technology. As Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he helped pioneer what has now become an industry-standard technology for major blockbusters. Serkis also furthered the technology in a big way in the recent Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy.
However, Serkis does have experience behind the camera. He helmed Breathe, which starred former Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield, as well as Mowgli, aka the other version of The Jungle Book that got dumped to Netflix. That's not so much a commentary on the movie's quality as it is an instance of Warner Bros. not knowing what to do with what they had after Disney's The Jungle Book grossed nearly $1 billion at the box office. But that is neither here nor there.
The main point is, Venom 2 now has a director and it's an interesting choice. Andy Serkis is a prestigious and respected performer who knows how to work on this kind of movie. He's got a budding directorial career and it's fascinating to imagine where he'll take this franchise.
Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, proved to be a truly unexpected and massive hit at the box office. With Tom Hardy leading the way as the famed Spider-Man villain, positioned instead as something of an anti-hero in a film not in any way connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comic book adaptation grossed a staggering $856 million worldwide.
This, despite the fact that many critics tore the film a new one. As of this writing, Venom holds a very poor 29 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the audience rating sits at 81 percent. Clearly, there is a bridge to cross there. In any event, that puts Mr. Andy Serkis and Sony in something of a unique position heading into the sequel.
On the one hand, there is nothing saying improvements can't be made. Maybe bringing in some new blood can help take the franchise in a bold, new direction that critics won't scoff at. Though, at the same time, does Sony want to mess with a formula that proved to be so financially rewarding? It's a tough balance they may have to strike.
In any event, here's what we know for sure: Tom Hardy will be back as Eddie Brock. Woody Harrelson, presumably, will be playing the villain Carnage, given what happened in the post-credit scene from the end of the first movie. Beyond that, it's in Serkis' seemingly capable hands now.
So what do you think? Is this the best choice? Is there someone else you would like to see tackle the sequel? Should this movie even be happening? Sound off in the comments!