Following reports that Andy Serkis is in the running to direct Venom 2, star Tom Hardy has shared a photo of Serkis on his Instagram account, potentially confirming the director choice. Serkis is particularly well-known for his work in visual effects and motion capture on movies like Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, and founded a performance capture studio called The Imaginarium - which could make him the ideal director for a movie with a CGI main character.
Released in 2018 and directed by Ruben Fleischer, Venom proved to be a surprisingly big hit at the box office despite being rather poorly-reviewed. Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a journalist whose investigation into a shady bio-engineering corporation leads to him absorbing an alien symbiote called Venom, who likes to eat people's heads. The movie's post-credits scene set up a sequel with Cletus Kasady a.k.a. Carnage (played by Woody Harrelson) as the main villain, and earlier this year we learned that Venom screenwriter Kelly Marcel was returning to write Venom 2.
Hardy shared a pair of images that seemed to be linked on his Instagram feed, the first being a since-deleted photo of Serkis with a spade and fire emoji (the spade emoji is used frequently on Hardy's social media posts). The fact that it's been deleted indicates that Hardy may have jumped the gun when the news initially broke, and that talks with Serkis are still ongoing, but it indicates that the Venom star is enthusiastic about the idea of Serkis directing Venom 2. Check out the image below:
According to the previous report of Serkis being in the running to direct to Venom 2, Sony Pictures wants the movie to begin filming in November, and is therefore presumably keen to secure a director so that casting and pre-production can move forward. Though Serkis is only credited as the director on two movies, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle and 2017 biographical romance Breathe, he's a veteran of films that rely heavily on visual effects and has been a powerful creative force in franchises like Lord of the Rings and The Planet of the Apes. In addition to starring in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he also worked on the movie as a performance capture consultant for the Hulk. Since Venom's CGI was criticized for looking cheap and outdated, it makes sense that Sony would want to beef it up for the sequel.
With the planned start of production on Venom 2 now just a few months away, we can expect confirmation soon of whether or not Serkis will indeed be in the director's chair. The two other directors said to have met with the studio are Travis Knight (Bumblebee) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). If Serkis does end up directing, it wouldn't be surprising if he also had some kind of role in the movie himself, given that he was the voice of Baloo in Mowgli. Who knows - perhaps there will be more symbiotes than just Venom and Carnage in town.
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