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Everything we know about Venom 2, Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff

He’s baa-aack.

In 2018, Sony Pictures unleashed Venom, a superhero flick starring Tom Hardy as Spider-Man’s longtime nemesis, on the world. Venom’s absurd action didn’t click with critics, but audiences loved its campy charm. Now, Venom is the centerpiece of Sony’s Spider-Man-centric cinematic universe, and the antihero will only become more important to Sony’s plans with the release of Venom 2.

Venom 2 (which may get a new title before release) will be directed by Andy Serkis, and looks like it will star Hardy as Eddie Brock, Venom’s human host, Woody Harrelson, and Michelle Williams. Here’s everything we know so far.

An oh-so-precious director

You probably know Serkis as the man behind The Lord of the Rings‘ Gollum, War for the Planet of the Apes Caesar, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Supreme Leader Snoke, but the veteran motion-capture artist is going behind the camera for his next big project. As Serkis unveiled on Twitter, he’ll be directing Sony’s upcoming Venom sequel.

While Serkis is most famous for his motion-capture characters, the English filmmaker does have directorial experience. In 2017, Serkis released his first feature film, Breathe, which starred Andrew Garfield and The Crown‘s Claire Foy. In 2018, Serkis’ performance-capture-heavy The Jungle Book adaptation, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, arrived on Netflix after a brief theatrical run.

Eddie Brock’s sophomore outing will be written by Kelly Marcel, one of Venom‘s three credited writers, The Hollywood Reporter reports. In addition to Venom, Marcel’s other credits include Fifty Shades of Grey, Saving Mister Banks, and Disney’s Cruella, which will focus on the titular villain of 101 Dalmatians fame.

A possible release date

Sony hasn’t announced when Venom 2 might hit theaters, but the studio currently has two Marvel projects planned for 2020, according to IGN. One, an “untitled Sony/Marvel sequel” set to release on October 2, 2020, seems like it could be the perfect landing spot for another Venom flick. The other date looks like it belongs to Morbius, which was pushed from July 10 to July 30, 2020, in order to make room for Jason Reitman’s Ghostbusters revival.

The cast, most likely

In August 2019, it became official: True Detective and Zombieland star Harrelson, who appeared in one of Venom’s post-credit sequences as serial killer Cletus Kasady, will return in Venom 2 as the murderous red symbiote Carnage. The confirmation comes by way of Venom 2 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood cinematographer Robert Richardson, who spilled the news to Collider.

In the comics, Kasady was Eddie Brock’s cellmate, and bonded with the Venom symbiote’s offspring during a prison break. In addition to giving him superpowers, Kasady’s symbiote affected the killer’s already unbalanced mind, making him stronger and more deadly than Venom could ever hope to be.

Hardy ‘s Venom co-star Michelle Williams is rumored to be returning for Venom 2 as well.

Into the Spider-Verse

Venom was only the beginning. In addition to a second Venom movie, Sony is currently developing a handful of live-action films based on supporting Spider-Man characters, including Morbius the Living Vampire, the Black Cat, and Madame Web. Sony also has a number of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spinoffs in preproduction, including a feature following an all-female team of spider heroes, a direct sequel to the first movie focusing on the relationship between Gwen and Miles Morales, and a number of animated TV projects.

It’s possible that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker could join Sony’s mini Marvel Universe too, and perhaps even make a cameo in Venom 2. As per Sony and Disney’s new deal, which will see Holland’s Spidey appear in at least one more solo Marvel Cinematic Universe film and one more Marvel team-up, Spider-Man is now free to be part of both cinematic universes.

In fact, Venom co-writer Jeff Pinkner hinted as much in a discussion with Discussing Film.: While Venom’s archnemesis, Spider-Man, didn’t show up in Venom, Pinker admitted that “it is not impossible that in a future/upcoming Venom movie, Spider-Man will play a significant role.”

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