A week ago, a new breakdown in Heat Vision had a lot of Marvel fans excited, presenting the rumor that Andy Serkis was leading the shortlist of directors for Venom 2. And now, the news has been official. Reports are dropping that Andy Serkis has closed his deal with Sony for Venom 2, taking over for Venom director Ruben Fleischer.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed Sony’s choice of Andy Serkis as Venom director. Fans were ready to celebrate late last week, as Venom star Tom Hardy dropped this not-so-cryptic tease that Andy Serkis was indeed going to be helming the Venom sequel.
Obviously, Andy Serkis is one of the most talented and famous pioneers of this modern motion-capture process for creating fantastical creature characters in movies. After his game-changing turn as Gollum in Lord of the Rings and Hobbits films, Andy Serkis proved his potential as a leading man by depicting the epic evolution of Caesar, the main protagonist in the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy. Though he did not direct that series, Andy Serkis was heavily credited for helping to craft the finer points of Caesar’s evolution from a simple primate to the war-scarred leader of an entire race of intelligent apes that he helped create. Moreover, Andy Serkis did help to coach the ensemble of other mo-cap actors needed to make Caesar’s army of Apes in all three movies.
That is all to say: Andy Serkis has been ready for a challenge like Venom for quite some time. Given where the original movie left the sequel storyline, it could really take a master of creating mo-cap creatures to sell the horror and gravitas of Venom 2!
As previously stated: The post-credits scene of Venom introduced Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, the infamous serial killer who becomes the symbiote-wearing killer known as Carnage in the comics. That Venom post-credits scene all but screamed the character’s arrival in Venom sequel, which could even adapt a Marvel Comics crossover like “Maximum Carnage,” that saw Venom teaming up with Spider-Man and other superheroes to stop Carnage as well as his gang of monstrous killers from massacring their way across Manhattan.
And with Cletus Kasady on the board, we could see Venom (Tom Hardy) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) crossover sooner before later, as Venom 2 has all the potential of being one of the biggest Marvel films outside of the main MCU franchise. Just another reason that fans want someone like Andy Serkis, who is capable of telling a cohesive and sensible creature-horror superhero movie. The fact that he has already worked with Woody Harrelson (who played Caesar’s nemesis in War for the Planet of the Apes) is even just icing on the cake.
Venom 2 is set to release on October 2, 2020.
Woody Harrelson Returning as Carnage for Venom Sequel
Woody Harrelson is indeed returning as Carnage for Venom 2. Though many had speculated on this fan-favorite’s involvement in the highly-anticipated follow-up Venom since a brief appearance in its post-credits scene, the confirmation now comes from Venom 2 cinematographer Robert Richardson during a recent interview with Collider.
The first standalone Venom movie featured a mid-credits stinger where Eddie Brock visits a prison to interview Cletus Kasady, the serial killer called Carnage in the comics. Played by Woody Harrelson, that scene seemed to be intentional sequel setup where Carnage would be the primary antagonist going up against Venom. However, at this point, the only confirmed Venom 2 cast members were Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom and Michelle Williams as Anne Weying. But now, as previously presumed, fans know Harrelson will be reprising his role as well.
At one point, Robert Richardson has been reportedly attached to Ben Affleck’s The Batman but left after Matt Reeves took over. Recently, in the press fallout after the changing of the guard, Robert Richardson admitted he was hoping to board a superhero property for a while, which was the main point in drawing him to Sony’s Venom sequel. And in the same breath, he also made sure to point out the involvement of Woody Harrelson as a major plus to joining the production.
“I think it is unexplored yet. It is going to explode. And this film, I think I’ll help it explode because you have a remarkable central character with Venom,” Richard explained. “But now you have got Woody Harrelson who is going to obviously make his own little entrance here. And we will see what else comes in with the Sony Marvel collaboration.”
Robert Richardson also admits he is a big fan of Venom star Tom Hardy, saying the actor is always on the mark.
“I look forward to it. It is a massive change for me, but I am excited. And I think Hardy is one of our best. He never misses. So I look forward to sitting with him and watching him perform,” says the cinematographer.
In spite of being panned by critics, Venom was a hit with fans. The Ruben Fleischer-directed movie broke box office records during its run and launched a new franchise for Sony to develop. As of this writing, the Venom outing has an 80% Fresh Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. Those fans even let their money do the talking as the movie was a hit commercially, now raking in over $850 million worldwide, a whopping $642 million of which came internationally.
Tonally, Robert Richardson would not let on much on what fans can expect though he did say the team had planned on honoring the work done by Matt Libatique in the initial movie – even to the point where fans can expect to see some familiar locations and set pieces. Richardson then revealed filmmaker Andy Serkis has already begun pre-production on the movie and had some plans on joining his co-worker in September.
As for Woody Harrelson, this won’t be his lone rodeo as Carnage. Venom and Carnage both have such a rich history with each other, that would be a shame if the two were only explored in a single movie. This is one instance where it’d arguably be better if the supervillain survived a comic book movie and was able to return at a later date. Perhaps Sony could even find a way to have Spider-Man team up with Venom to take down Carnage (which happened in the comics). So that would get fans buzzing and soften the blow of Spider-Man no longer being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Venom 2 is scheduled for release on October 2, 2020.
“Venom 2:” Michelle Williams Confirms Her Return as Anne Weying
It looks like Sony wasted no time getting a sequel to Venom in development, announcing the follow-up not long after the first movie became an instant smash hit at the box office. Over the last year or so, word on the upcoming sequel has been mostly quiet, until earlier this week as it was confirmed that Andy Serkis had signed on to direct Venom 2. Now that someone is at the helm, the pieces are finally falling into place. While Tom Hardy is back as Eddie Brock, the co-star Michelle Williams has announced to return as Anne Weying.
Outside of Tom Hardy’s leading role, no other actors have yet to be confirmed for the upcoming Venom sequel. While Woody Harrelson’s Carnage is more than likely, given the post-credits scene in the first movie, the future of Michelle Williams as Anne Weying seemed up in the air. That also changed on Wednesday when Yahoo published an interview with Michelle Williams about her new film, After the Wedding.
When the subject of Venom 2 came up, Michelle Williams put all worries aside by simply saying, “I am in.” That is about as straight-forward as one could be. And she will be a part of the Venom sequel. Period.
Later in the interview, Michelle Williams went on to sing the praises of the new filmmaker for Venom 2, Andy Serkis. He became something of a cinematic icon playing motion capture characters over the years, before taking on the challenge of directing.
“I am such a fan of Andy [Serkis]. And I am so inspired by what he has been able to accomplish,” Michelle Williams expressed. “He is so gifted in such a specific way. And I’m very excited to learn from him and be around him.”
Andy Serkis helmed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which was streamed on Netflix late last year. He is best known for playing Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Caesar in the recent Planet of the Apes movies. However, at this point, it’s unclear whether or not Andy Serkis will be playing a role in Venom sequel as well.
Are you looking forward to the sequel for Venom? What other actors from the first film are you hoping to see return? Share with us in the comments!
Tom Holland Wants Spider-Man to Team Up With Hulk
Now that it seems like Spider-Man is leading the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is no secret that he will have a huge Tony Stark-sized hole to fill after the events of Avengers: Endgame. But actor Tom Holland is hopeful that he will get some help in leading the charge in future movies.
Now with the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home upon us, we will get to see the Web Slinger team up with new “hero” Mysterio and the iconic secret agent Nick Fury, once again starring Samuel L. Jackson. But Tom Holland wants to see Spidey fight crime with a different Avenger eventually. Someone big, mean, and green.
However, that is not the only hero the actor wants to pair with, as Tom Holland also revealed he would like to do more with Benedict Cumberbatch’s version of Doctor Strange after their interaction in Avengers: Infinity War.
Many fans are also clamoring to see Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man interact with Tom Hardy’s Venom, especially after the latter churned out such a hit film last year. Though while it might seem unlikely, given the separation of Sony’s corner of the Marvel Universe and the proper Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spidey producer Amy Pascal would not rule out a crossover.
“I can say that we have had a fantastic partnership and you’ll never know what’s going to happen,” she told Fandango last week. “We have lots of stories to tell about Spider-Man. We also have big plans for Tom Holland to be a part of everything.”
And while there’re rumblings of Holland possibly appearing in a Venom film in the future, Amy Pascal wouldn’t confirm that either.
“The key thing to Venom, Tom Holland, Spider-Man, or Spider-Verse is that as wonderful and tempting as it is to connect the dots. Nothing works if the individual movies do not work and have their own integrity,” Pascal said. “And that’s the key to it all.”
Meanwhile, Tom Holland also expressed his desire to have a live-action Spider-Verse film co-starring predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2.
Tom Hardy Confirmed to Return for Venom 2
It is no secret that Sony Pictures is undergoing a renaissance with their stable of Marvel films, with Spider-Man: Far From Home set to dominate theaters when it premieres next month. However, their spinoffs have all found success among fans, with the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning an Academy Award while Venom earned an impressive take at the box office. So it should come as no surprise that sequels for both flicks are coming.
“I can say that Tom Hardy will be back, magnificently playing the character as no one else can,” Amy Pascal said. She also revealed that she would continue to be involved with Venom 2 despite her new lucrative deal to produce for Universal Pictures.
As for Venom, the film went on to gross over $855 million worldwide, making it a massive success for Sony’s first Spidey spinoff movie. When asked what made Venom perform so well, Amy Pascal attributed it to a few key aspects.
“It is a couple of things. One of them is that Sony did a great job creating the franchise and giving it a life and its own world,” said Pascal. “Then, there is Tom Hardy. When you think of Venom, you will never be able to think of anyone but Tom Hardy sitting in that bathtub of lobsters. And once you saw Tom Hardy do that character, that is all you needed to know.”
“Tom Hardy’s Venom was absolutely, bar none, unbelievable,” Pascal continued to rave over the star’s portrayal of Eddie Brock ahead of the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home. “He’s so good. Nobody else could be that character.”
It sounds like Tom Hardy is in it for the long haul, which should raise hopes for fans that Venom could interact with Spider-Man in the near future. But that’s still a story for another time.
As far as when we can expect to see Venom 2 in theaters? We will have to wait a bit longer for that. While the sequel is in the works, Amy Pascal said that there is “no time table” to get it in production.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2.
Sony Rumoredly Wants Venom in Spider-Man 3, Not Deadpool
Recently, a Marvel insider claims Sony Pictures is trying to include Tom Hardy as Venom in the third Marvel Studios-produced Spider-Man film, disputing a report from days ago that claimed Disney-owned Marvel was considering introducing Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in the sequel of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
There are no plans to add Deadpool in an MCU Spider-Man 3, but Sony desperately wants Tom Hardy's Venom in this movie. Deadpool had his own movies but never showed up in the main X-Men films, it will be the same for the MCU.
— Roger Wardell (@RogerWardell) May 27, 2019
Twitter account @RogerWardell, who previously leaked major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame that ultimately turned out to be legitimate months later, says there is “no plan” for Deadpool in Spider-Man 3 but Sony instead “desperately” wants Tom Hardy’s Venom opposite Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. He further claims Disney-owned Marvel Studios will keep the Deadpool franchise, acquired as part of Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets in March that worth $71.3 billion, running parallel to its other properties.
The May 24 rumor from MCU Cosmic also claimed that Marvel was working over multiple options to introduce the Merc with a Mouth. It could be a third Ryan Reynolds-led solo movie, a live-action series on Disney+, or involvement in the Spider-Man 3, which pairs Tom Holland’s wall-crawler with veteran super-spy Nick Fury (star Samuel L. Jackson). Iron Man (star Robert Downey Jr.) who played supported in its predecessor, 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Sony controls Spidey live-action screen rights and allows the character to operate in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, where this teenage superhero was knighted as a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: Infinity War before helping save the universe in the latest Endgame.
Meanwhile, Venom launched Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters, an unconnected and apparently Spidey-less continuity.
Amy Pascal, the producer on both Venom and the rebooted Spider-Man franchise, once said the Sony-produced movies would act as tie-ins for the MCU. She told FilmStarts back in June 2017 the films “will now take place in the world that we’re creating for Peter Parker.”
“They will be adjuncts to it. They may be different locations. But it’ll still all be in the same world,” said Pascal. “They’ll be connected to each other as well.”
However, though she tried, perhaps mistakenly, to characterize the SUMC as an offshoot of the MCU, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige later told AlloCine there is “no plan” for Venom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, calling the Tom Hardy movie “a Sony project.”
Amy Pascal later clarified her comments during the Spider-Man: Homecoming press tour, explaining “all these characters are part of the Marvel comic book universe.”
“In that universe, they’re all related to each other. Kevin [Feige] makes characters in the MCU,” she said. “These characters are separated, except for Spidey, who belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is why he is there.”
When asked if that rules out a future Spidey and Venom crossover, Kevin Feige replied, “We never say never.” He added a merger between the two universes was unlikely to happen “any time soon.”
However, Venom producer Matt Tolmach believes such a crossover will come “at some point.”
“The obvious thing that we’re all excited to do is have Venom face off against Spider-Man at some point. We knew we could not use Spider-Man in this movie or did not want to use him in this movie,” Tolmach previously told LRM. “But we were really excited about the potential for Spider-Man and Venom at some point meeting up in the future.”
In the meantime, the upcoming Far From Home will seemingly delve deeper into the concept of the Multiverse, potentially allowing for a future Spidey-Venom crossover.
“We also had to look at it in terms of the scope of what happened at the end of Endgame. Seeing all these crazy things that they did and all the questions that raise,” director Jon Watts told Fandango.
“So definitely we are trying to answer one of the big ones – alternate timelines. Many possibilities opened up at the end of Endgame, and Peter Parker is one of the few people on the ground dealing with them.”
When asked how Far From Home differs from Sony’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – that saw multiple Spidey people crossover into one shared reality – Jon Watts replied, “I would not dare [explain]. I will let Nick Fury do that.”
Spider-Man: Far From Home opens July 2. As for Venom 2, Sony has dated the film for October 2, 2020.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Fan Art Imagines Miles Morales as Venom
Sony Pictures’ first animated Spider-Man film has become a massive success, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse expanding the canon in the new and exciting ways. The movie included many different classic Marvel villains. But we did not see the symbiote suit or a variation of Venom.
Recently, a piece of fan art from BossLogic imagines Miles Morales’ encounter with the symbiote. It transforms Miles into a version of Venom rather than giving him the iconic black Spidey costume.
You can take a look below.
While Venom didn’t play a part in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there is still a good chance the symbiote could appear in a future movie. After all, both Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy have had their own important storylines dealing with the alien life form.
Miles Morales’ fight with Venom resulted in the demise of his mother Rio Morales. Though she later revived after the events of Secret Wars. Meanwhile, Gwen Stacy was overtaken by the symbiote in a recent storyline that saw her clash with Daredevil over her father’s fate.
The sequel for Into the Spider-Verse will see Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy return as stated by producer Amy Pascal. The film will apparently feature the blossoming romance between two characters — a plot thread that was abandoned from Phil Lord’s original script.
With the popularity of blockbuster Venom after his own standalone movie, this would be a possibility to introduce the character to the animated universe. However, it seems like a good chance to include the character in Gwen Stacy’s own spinoff movie. That also brings Spider-Woman and Silk to the universe.
Recently, the actress Hailee Steinfeld also spoke about the upcoming Spider-Gwen spinoff. She expressed the gratitude for having the opportunity to continue playing the breakout character from Into the Spider-Verse.
“Oh my goodness. To become a part of this and play this strong female superhero. In this film particularly, is quite a privilege,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “The thought of a spinoff is incredible. If that were ever to happen, I’d be my honor to play a part of it. I’d love this opportunity. Anything to do something like that again with the character would be an honor.”
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse now playing in theaters worldwide.
“Venom” Parodies Romantic “Love Actually” in New Trailer
The blockbuster Venom may be out of theaters for the holiday, but that does not mean the film is about to let the holly-jolly season pass it by. After all, a new promo for the movie has just debuted. And it pays homage to one of the most iconic romantic comedies Love Actually out there.
Eventually, Venom is the kind of symbiote that would fit in with the Love Actually crew, you know?
Over on Twitter, the official Venom account released a short promo advertising the film’s Blu-ray. The animated short sees Venom taking the place of Mark as he is standing outside a door on Christmas Eve. With lights behind, Venom has a stack of cue cards ready to spell out a message. And the symbiote does not hold back his true feelings.
— Venom (@VenomMovie) December 20, 2018
“Shhhhh. Say it is carolers. But it’s not carolers. It’s Venom,” the slides read.
“I just want to tell you I want to eat your eyes, lungs, pancreas, and maybe brains too. Nom, nom, nom. PS, buy my Blu-ray.”
Signing off with a sweet message “Love Venom,” the clip is the perfect thing to draw in rom-com fans before surprising them. Venom is adorably animated in this sweet reel, and his handwriting would make anyone jealous. Even though his words may be terse, Venom really wants netizens to know how tasty they’re to him, and he is also not afraid to plug his Blu-ray along the way.
This cute parody might appear to have come out of nowhere, but Venom does have a history with rom-coms. While the movie was marketed as a live-action piece, Venom thrilled superhero fans with its online shipping. Eddie Brock was paired with everyone from Anne Weying to Venom itself, and Sony didn’t overlook the online character. In fact, an actual TV spot marketing Venom as a rom-com was released back in November, but the reel doesn’t come close to outdoing this stunning Love Actually homage.
Do you love the cutesy promo?
Venom is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD.
“Spider-Man” Fan Art Imagines Peter Parker and Miles Morales Vs. Venom
Following the premiere of Sony’s animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales has been pushed in front of the massive mainstream audiences for the first time in the character’s history last seven years. Of course, Spidey fans are doing whatever they can to get more of the web-slinging character.
In the case of fan art, the ideal situation would be to have Miles Morales team up with original Peter Parker to take down classic Spidey nemesis Venom. The fan poster comes from fan art extraordinaire BossLogic.
You can see it below.
Thought I'd flip the camera on an old piece before I call it a night. Goodnight guys! ❤️🙏 #spiderverse @TomHolland1996 @SpiderManMovie @VenomMovie @SpiderVerse @SonyPictures pic.twitter.com/fjMcXUDgPi
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 17, 2018
The fan art is good enough to make fans begging for a live-action showdown between these iconic characters, even though rights issues could make that more complicated than we thought. While Marvel Studios momentarily has their rights to use the Peter Parker version of the character in their shared universe, Sony is working hard to make a shared universe of their own that uses films like Venom and the soon-to-be-filmed Morbius, the Living Vampire.
Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal found the shared character relationship with Marvel Studios to be beneficial enough. She told Vanity Fair that she would cry if it ended.
“I think about crying,” Pascal opened up about a potential Spidey break-up. “I could only hope for a future where things work out. I have known [Marvel Studios president] Kevin [Feige] since he was Avi [Arad]’s a very quiet assistant, who sat in that room for many years listening to us and being so much smarter than any of us without realizing. I’ll say that working with Marvel has been one of the highlights of my professional career.”
Meanwhile, Shamiek Moore, the voice behind Miles Morales in Into the Spider-Verse, previously said he would like to play the Spidey character in live action.
“Definitely I want to become the live-action Miles Morales,” he revealed. “I understand that he is a young kid. But hopefully you know, they can play with time and put me in there. But I am thankful for the opportunity. I’d love to be fighting Venom as Miles, with Tom Hardy. You know what I mean? That would be great. I’d love to play on screen with my favorite actor out right now.”
So, what do you think of the fan art? Do you think we will see Miles Morales and Peter Parker team up in the MCU anytime soon? Let us know in the comments!
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse now playing in theaters. Sony’ Venom is now available in digital and will appear on home media December 18th. Morbius, the Living Vampire will be the next superhero flick from Sony to enter production.
‘Venom’ Sequel Officially Confirmed to Be Happening
After a massive showing at the global box office, even breaking records in several different markets, it comes as no surprise to us that Sony’s Venom movie already has its sequel in the works. Yes, it’s official news.
In speaking with Discussing Film, one of Venom’s screenwriter, Jeff Pinkner, was asked what fans could expect from the sequel. Pinkner didn’t give away any secrets, but he did the next best thing by confirming the follow-up film’s existence.
“I cannot say anything other than that it’s happening,” he revealed. And when asked whether or not he was the one who will be writing the sequel, he replied, “I am not. As of now, I am not.”
Again, this is not much of a surprise that gave Venom’s success at the box office. In spite of negative reviews from the critics, the movie has still grossed more than $850 million worldwide. Venom is also setting itself up for a sequel with its post-credits scene, which features the debut of Woody Harrelson stars Cletus Kasady, better known as the villainous Carnage.
During Venom’s production, it’s always the intention of the creative crew to have Cletus Kasady appear as a bridge, setting up the story for the eventual sequel.
“So when we were thinking about including the scene and laying the groundwork for a potential sequel, he’s the first person I thought of. And a just because selfishly I am so excited to work with him again, whether it is in Zombieland 2 or the potential sequel to this film,” director of Venom, Ruben Fleischer, told Comicbook. “If you think about Natural Born Killers or Mickey, the character he played in that movie, I feel like there is a real lineage that you can trace from Mickey to Cletus. And I also think that he has not gone dark in that way for a while.”
This scene is the second collaboration between Fleischer & Harrelson since the duo worked together on Zombieland. Harrelson starred in the horror-comedy as zombie killer Tallahassee, while Fleischer was the movie’s director. Both men will be likely to reprise their roles in Zombieland 2, which will likely enter production next year.
Are you excited for a Venom sequel to arrive? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned to HeroHyper so you won’t miss something!
Find Out How Venom’s Visual Effects Goo Stuck to Tom Hardy
It was not easy to find that goo where it had to go. Paul J. Franklin – Venom’s VFX supervisor, explains it all for you.
Venom, the most recent movie in which a mumbling Tom Hardy makes it hard for you to know a word of what he is saying, broke the box office record for October on its first weekend and retained the top spot on its second weekend.
I am not ashamed to say that I really enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Especially that motorcycle chase in San Francisco I was convinced was shot on location. It turns out I was wrong, at least partly, and that I can not actually recognize the city where I work.
I talk about this and other behind-the-scenes movie-making magic with Paul J. Franklin, Venom’s visual effects supervisor. The two-time Oscar winner (Interstellar, Inception) and routine Christopher Nolan collaborator also worked as a VFX adviser for another autumn 2018 launch, First Man.
Q: Tell us about Venom’s creation. How did you approach it?
Franklin: The monster has been extensively explored through the years by different artists because Venom first appeared back in the 1980s. There wasn’t a lot of consistency between one artist and another. And Even within an individual artist, you have this feeling that the monster can change more or less from panel to panel. He’s kind of almost abstract character. When Venom is completely formed he generally has a humanoid shape, but the contours that his face adopts — especially that quite mobile jaw, the huge teeth, the incredible tongue — it is very, very plastic, very expressive.
Q: How complicated was it to signify that?
Franklin: The fully formed Venom required a lot of very exact body tracking. Besides the film camera that was filming Tom Hardy, we had witness cameras on the set: three or four extra digital cameras. Typically they’re Canon 5D Mark 4. We placed them around the set that we could understand how he was really moving in the space.
The movie camera presents one view, and you are thinking, Was his leg just a little bit farther back or a little bit closer? Ordinarily, it does not matter too much; you can afford to be a little bit lost. But our body tracking had to be exact; we needed to model the motion of his clothes so we could get the goo to stick to its surface. As soon as we get the goo spreading around Eddie’s (Tom Hardy) face, which is lots and a lot of complex animation, you know that it’s perfectly registered to the cameras.
Q: What about other bodily references on the set?
Franklin: We used a very tall stunt twice. A chap named Kyle who was 6 feet 7. Then we gave him a helmet with a ball on the top, which made him 8 feet. It was really useful when we were performing close-up interactions, such as the scene where Venom appears inside the little corner store and stops the bad man stealing from Mrs. Chen. But when it came to Venom running on the road or scaling a building, especially in the big fight scene at the end of the film, that’s about complex keyframe animation.
Of course, we were looking at the physical functionality of Tom Hardy. He has this incredibly gestural style during this film. That was really great for the scenes at the apartment fight, where he begins shooting out the huge tentacles. However, when Venom fully appears, we’re into the world of pure visual effects. We may use Tom’s first performance as a beginning point, but then we’re off into our own location. Venom’s power, size, and speed make him a very different proposition from a normal human being.
I guess it could also be a balance from an aesthetic point of view…
Franklin: Finally this movie exists in the actual world. It is a live-action film. So Venom can’t feel like a cartoon. But at the same time, we didn’t shy away from some of the graphic stylings that the comic books use, because this is the essence of the character. You can not really avoid that. You must respect that and embrace it.
Q: There is a lot of comedy in Venom. Did that humor influence your work in the film?
Franklin: Yes. The approach we took creating, for example, the launch complex where the final fight happens is much more eloquent and expressive than anything we did, say, on Interstellar or my colleagues on First Man were performing at re-creating the moon landings.
As it is a comic book movie, it needs to be broad, exciting and colorful. It needs to fit in that world. I’d say Venom is a horror-comedy-action film. In preproduction, Ruben Fleischer, our manager, referenced movies like An American Werewolf in London. It’s something that has got a real sense of visceral terror to it. And at the same time, it was a pretty funny movie and compelling piece of filmmaking. We’re creating a film which is for a different audience. We’re making a PG-13 film so we can’t go as intense as An American Werewolf did, but there are a few elements of this in there.
Q: San Francisco is a character in this movie. How much of this movie was shot here?
Franklin: Actually, the huge majority was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. The bike chase is most likely a great example of the technique we took there. The most of that bike chase was taken in Atlanta. We would take away the things that would make it overtly Atlanta. The art department made an excellent work dressing street signs to make them seem like San Francisco and putting a variety of things up that referred to streets in there.
Atlanta is CNN and Coca-Cola ‘s home, so there are plenty of CNN logos and giant Coca-Cola signs everywhere. We spent a little time erasing those because American audiences would understand that this is not San Francisco. We did shoot key elements of the chase in San Francisco, with Eddie jumping over the hills and going through renowned intersections. And then by mixing that up, you are never quite certain when you’re in Atlanta and when you’re in San Francisco.
Q: As a viewer, can you differentiate reality from visual effects?
Franklin: It’s becoming harder and harder. Sometimes you are extremely aware of what has been done. Sometimes you’re conscious because no matter how seamless the work is, you know that it’s simply not feasible to shoot something. It would be too costly or too dangerous. But I’d say the type of bread and butter of visual effects — the techniques have become so sophisticated and so well established that you can do a lot of things that required a very intricate bespoke pipeline maybe 10, 15 years ago. You can do it today with off-the-shelf toolsets. And that is also partly a function of the increasing power of computers.
Q: What have you seen recently where you have particularly liked the visual effects?
Franklin: I am always impressed by the level of work from the Marvel movies, simply because of the sheer quantity of it. I took my kids to see Infinity War not long time ago, and the scale of the work… The ambition of the movie is just astonishing. We take that very much as being commonplace nowadays.