If it wasn’t for Tom Hardy, then Venom wouldn’t have been anywhere near as enjoyable as it turned out. As always, the reliably dedicated and committed star gave his all to the role, avoiding any standard tropes of what the leading man of a superhero blockbuster is supposed to be by presenting Eddie Brock as a sweaty, neurotic and nervous mess.
It worked a treat, with critics raving over his performance, even if they weren’t quite so kind to the movie itself. Venom holds a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 30% from over 350 reviews, so acclaim was hard thing to come by. Audiences clearly disagreed, though, with Ruben Fleischer’s opening installment rocketing to over $850 million at the box office and garnering an 81% audience rating on the aggregation site.
In a recent interview with CinemaBlend to promote sequel Let There Be Carnage, Hardy freely admits that critics didn’t care much for the film, but the commercial success of Venom only emboldened him to head straight to the top of the Sony totem pole to ask for a more hands-on role in the development and creation of the follow up.
“I think with anything, you want something to do well that you care about. And obviously, it didn’t meet, it didn’t carry any water with the critics. They literally panned us. But the audiences turned out in droves, which was what was so lovely about it. It was like watching an underdog be lifted up and be presented and enjoyed and relished for what it was. We got straight on the phone to Tom Rothman at Sony and said, ‘Look, can we put a pitch in to do the second one, because we’re really keen to take what we learned from the first and get on and start writing that second one’. To get on the floor again and see if we can push it further.”
Hardy definitely got his way after being named as a producer on Venom: Let There Be Carnage, while he also shares a story credit with longtime friend and regular collaborator Kelly Marcel. The Academy Award nominee is hugely invested in the character, so it was a wise decision on Sony’s part to acquiesce to his request and give him a greater level of input.