When Andy Serkis was first announced to be directing Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a lot of people instantly assumed that the titular antihero would be brought to life using performance capture. The visual effects were one of the weakest parts of Ruben Fleischer’s opening installment, and Serkis is regarded as both an expert and pioneer when it comes to marrying a digital character to a physical performance.
After breaking new ground as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, Serkis delivered a trio of incredible performances in the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy, while he also founded production company and mo-cap workshop The Imaginarium, which led to him consulting on projects including Godzilla, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
However, the actor and filmmaker revealed in a new interview that he didn’t want to strap any of his actors into a grey leotard for his comic book blockbuster so as not to affect their performances, with Tom Hardy’s grandstanding double turn as Eddie Brock and his monstrous alter ego being singled out as the prime example.
“I’ve spent a considerable amount of my life playing a character with two sides to his personality. I knew that this film would be about how to free up Tom to imagine Venom’s presence. We knew it would not be helpful for him to act opposite a man in a suit, because Venom is a symbiote, coming out of him. We wanted to give Tom the freedom in his process to give the performance he wanted.”
While there will be some mo-cap used in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, making the character primarily CGI gives Hardy more freedom to get as crazy as he wants both on set and in the recording booth, without having to worry about hitting his marks to match the camera movements. It’s a solid compromise, and based on his performance in the first movie, letting him cut as loose as possible is definitely the smartest move.