When it was confirmed that original director Ruben Fleischer wouldn’t be returning for the sequel that eventually became Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the search was whittled down to a shortlist of four candidates, each of whom would bring something distinctly different to the Marvel adaptation.
Sony reportedly had their eye on Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Rupert Sanders, but he didn’t make it down the final three. Bumblebee‘s Travis Knight had experience on effects-driven blockbusters, as did Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Rupert Wyatt, but he also had a penchant for dropping out of multiple projects shortly after signing on. Of the trio, Andy Serkis’ name was the most unexpected, although it did make a lot of sense.
He’d only directed two features, which were moving biopic Breathe and Netflix’s Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, but he’d cut his teeth helming second unit on The Hobbit trilogy, while his extensive experience pioneering performance capture speaks for itself. Ahead of Let There Be Carnage’s October 1st release, Serkis revealed that it was Tom Hardy who ultimately ended up offering him the job.
“I thought Tom gave an extraordinary performance. It was right in my wheelhouse, creating characters using CG. When Tom gave me a call out of the blue, saying he thought it would be great if I directed the sequel and asking me to come on board, I think it was because he wanted a director who would be capable of safeguarding his performance, translating it into a visual-effects realm, with some degree of authority from experience with that. We had been circling each other as actors for so many years, and it was wonderful to finally get the chance to work with Tom.”
Having ascended to the role of producer on Venom: Let There Be Carnage, as well as receiving a story credit, Hardy’s involvement in the franchise has clearly been taken to a whole other level since the opener scored $850 million at the box office three years ago. On paper, Serkis has all the credentials to be an inspired choice, and there’s no reason to doubt that he’ll deliver.