Andy Serkis Closes Deal to Direct 'Venom 2' (Exclusive)
Andy Serkis is officially stepping into Venom's goo.
The filmmaker has closed a deal to direct Venom 2, Sony's sequel to the 2018 film that grossed $856 million at the global box office. The sequel, part of the company's stable of Spider-Man-related and Marvel-centric characters, will once again star Tom Hardy as the journalist who joins with an alien symbiote.
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Serkis flew to Los Angeles the week of July 22 to meet with Sony brass on the project and was one of several filmmakers in the mix for the job. This will be Serkis' third directorial effort, after the 2017 drama Breathe and last year's non-Disney take on the Rudyard Kipling stories, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which ended up on Netflix after being made at Warner Bros.
Serkis rose to fame for his motion-capture and performance-capture acting work as Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy from 2002 to 2004. He cut his teeth with second unit directing by reteaming with Jackson for the Hobbit trilogy (2012-14). He played the villain Snoke in the recent Star Wars films, as well as bad guy Klaw in Marvel Studios' Black Panther. His expertise with CG and performance-capture technology is one of the factors that landed him the Venom 2 gig.
Sony had no comment.
Kelly Marcel wrote the script for Venom 2. Ruben Fleischer helmed 2018's Venom, which starred Michelle Williams and featured a last-minute cameo by Woody Harrelson as chief Venom villain Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage. Serkis previously worked with Harrelson on 2017's War for the Planet of the Apes.
Shortly after the news broke Monday, Serkis shared a post on his verified Instagram account.
"It's actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I'm ready for the ride...Can't wait," he wrote.
Serkis is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment.
by Graeme McMillan
by Patrick Shanley