Sony’s search for a director to helm the sequel to their surprisingly successful 2018 Venom movie is underway. With the director of the original, Ruben Fleischer, busy making the sequel to Zombieland, the studio is reportedly looking at motion-capture star Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Rupert Wyatt, and Travis Knight, who recently won acclaim for Bumblebee, the sixth Transformers movie (and first good one). With Tom Hardy confirmed to return as Eddie Brock and the sequel being fast-tracked by the studio for an October 2020 release date, here are 10 Directors Who Would Be Perfect For Venom 2.
10 Eli Roth
With gory horror hits like Cabin Fever and the Hostel series under his belt, Eli Roth has more than proven that he could handle the gnarly action sequences involving ultraviolent characters like Venom and Carnage (who is confirmed to be the villain in the sequel, with Woody Harrelson returning to the role he teased in the first one’s post-credits scene). Last year’s The House with a Clock in Its Walls proved that Roth could adjust his vision to suit the needs of a big studio and still leave his distinctive stamp on the film, so maybe he could marry his grindhouse sensibilities with his studio experience to deliver an awesome Venom sequel.
9 Alex Garland
Although his last movie Annihilation didn’t perform so well at the box office, it did further affirm Alex Garland’s place as one of the smartest voices in genre cinema today. With Annihilation and his directorial debut Ex Machina, Garland brought an extra level of thoughtfulness (and a powerful sense of terror) to the dwindling science fiction genre. Garland has experience with darkly themed comic book properties after writing the R-rated Dredd movie that pleased fans and critics (even if it failed to make a huge splash at the box office), so he would certainly be able to satisfy the diehards with a Venom sequel.
8 S. Craig Zahler
It’s no easy task to make gruesome violence and a fun time at the movies go hand in hand, but S. Craig Zahler has consistently managed it. From a cannibal tearing a character in half in Bone Tomahawk to Vince Vaughn snapping off a guy’s neck with his foot in Brawl in Cell Block 99, Zahler has a way of directing violent scenes that are just realistic enough to make you wince and just cartoonish enough to be entertaining as opposed to vomit-inducing. With Zahler at the helm, Venom 2 could be a nasty, balls-to-the-wall grindhouse thriller – and bring Zahler the large mainstream audience that his uniquely grimy cinematic vision has cost him.
7 Bobcat Goldthwait
Audiences seriously responded to the humor in the first movie, so the second one should go even further with it and have a pitch-black comic sensibility. Who better for that than Bobcat Goldthwait, the twisted comedian-turned-filmmaker who’s treated us to such darkly comic gems as a romantic comedy about a woman who tells her boyfriend she once had sex with a dog and a found-footage horror movie about a couple’s doomed search for Bigfoot? Goldthwait was among the most vocal celebrities in defense of James Gunn when Marvel briefly fired him last year, so he clearly has his ear to the door of superhero cinema.
6 Tim Miller
Fans are holding out hope that, thanks to the tremendous (and unexpected) success of the first Venom film, the sequel will finally have the R rating we were deprived of with the original. The Venom character and his storylines and rogues gallery are so out-and-out insane that his movies should have the same tone as the Deadpool movies.
Hence, Tim Miller, who helmed the first Deadpool movie and is currently at work on the sixth Terminator movie. He left the Deadpool series due to creative differences, but he clearly knows how to make a great comic book movie with a sense of humor without sacrificing any action, so he could easily deliver a fantastic Venom film.
5 Ari Aster
Venom stories often border on the horrific, so a way to make the sequel stand out could be to lean into that and hire a horror filmmaker who knows how to manipulate his audience’s fear. Fresh off the double whammy of Hereditary and Midsommar (which was based on a studio pitch, showing that this guy can take someone else’s idea and put his own unique spin on it), Ari Aster could be a prime candidate. Aster has said that he doesn’t want to get boxed into the horror genre, but as it stands, he has been. Venom 2 could be a great way for him to branch out and gain the credibility to do whatever he wants (which, oddly enough, apparently includes making a musical).
4 Martin McDonagh
It’s highly unlikely that, coming off a hot Oscar winner with the freedom to make any movie he wants, Martin McDonagh would agree to make a Venom movie, unless he happens to be a huge Venom fan, but he would be a great choice. He showed in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that he can balance dark comedy and emotional character moments, while In Bruges proved he’s a master of thematic storytelling. (The first Venom movie didn’t explore the thematic potential of a black alien sludge invading Eddie Brock’s body, so it seems like the sequel’s the thing.) Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy proved that “proper” directors shouldn’t be afraid to do comic book movies – Martin McDonagh’s Venom 2 could be like The Dark Knight with an acid wit.
3 Leigh Whannell
The co-creator of the Saw franchise (and star of the first one alongside Cary Elwes) has been moving away from horror in recent years – but not far away enough that a Venom sequel would be out of his horizons. Last year, his movie Upgrade, an unforgettable mix of action thriller, body horror (Venom is body horror – an alien parasite has turned Eddie Brock’s body into its own and then done gross things like make out with him; Whannell would have a field day with scenes like these), and mind-bending cyberpunk, proved that his talents have not yet peaked, and in fact, continue to grow. So, could Venom 2 be next on his agenda?
2 Robert Rodriguez
A contemporary of Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez has always taken genres with rigid conventions and flipped them on their head. He took the well-worn vampire genre and placed it in a Mexican strip bar – after setting up a road movie about gangsters beforehand – to give us From Dusk Till Dawn.
Even Spy Kids was far less generic than it could’ve been. Rodriguez would undoubtedly do something great with a superhero movie, and it would have to be a dark superhero movie at that, so that he could bring his sharp acid wit and Machete-level ultraviolent tone to it, making Venom 2 the natural choice.
1 Edgar Wright
While all superhero movies fall under the category of “superhero movies,” there is a huge disparity of genres within that blanket. The ideal Venom movie would feel like a good comedy-horror movie, deftly balancing the two. That’s why Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland was hired for the first one. But there’s one director who helmed a zombie-infested laugh riot even greater (and with a stronger command of the rhythms of comedy and horror) than that manic double-tapping delight: Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead. Having been booted off Ant-Man, Wright might want to stick it to the MCU by hopping on the other Marvel movie-verse and knocking it out of the park as he always does.