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Sony’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage is on the move. The studio announced that the sequel is being pushed from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15.
The decision comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases due in large part to the delta variant. In recent weeks, comfort level among moviegoers has plummeted from a pandemic-era high of 81 percent on July 11 to 66 percent as of Monday, according to those with access to polling from the National Research Group.
Hollywood studios pay close attention to NRG; anything below 70 percent can be worrisome. It’s not exactly a surprise that Sony moved Venom 2: A new trailer released Aug. 2 didn’t have the release date, but rather said, coming “this fall.” The question now — how many other early fall films will shift?
Venom 2 becomes the second big studio film to move out of September after family film Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog (NRG comfort levels are particularly bad among moms.)The big question now is whether James Bond installment No Time to Die will relocate after already having moved multiple times. The MGM and Eon title begins rolling out overseas in late September before opening domestically Oct. 8.
Sony also has Hotel Transylvania: Transformania on Oct. 1 opposite MGM’s fellow animated family film The Adamms Family 2. Sources say Sony — which has licensed a handful of films to streamers throughout the pandemic — may be considering doing the same with Hotel Transylvania 4.
Other October titles include Universal’s Halloween Kills, which likewise opens Oct. 15, meaning it will now face competition from Venom 2. (It’s common for the Halloween corridor to be crowded.)
Venom 2 once again stars Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a journalist who has an alien symbiote living within him. Together, they are Venom. This time around, Woody Harrelson also stars after the actor portrayed serial killer Cletus Kasady in the post-credits scene for the first Venom, released in 2018. The new movie will see Harrelson’s Kasady transform into Carnage, a villain known as Venom’s chief antagonist in the comics.
Andy Serkis directs Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The Columbia Pictures film (in association with Marvel and Tencent Pictures) also stars Michelle Williams, Reid Scott and Naomie Harris as the comic book villain Shriek. The film is produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, Amy Pascal and Hutch Parker.
The original Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer, was a surprise smash hit, earning $856 million globally. It is one of the multiple movies set in Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. Following its new Venom movie, Sony also has Jared Leto’s Morbius due out Jan. 28. The studio also has Aaron Taylor-Johnson attached to play Kraven the Hunter in a film hitting theaters in January 2023.
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