Tom Hardy as Venom in Venom (2018)

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Not many people could have predicted Venom's phenomenal box office success. While it wasn't given the kindest critical reviews, filmgoers worldwide came out in droves to see Tom Hardy's take on the popular antagonistic/anti-heroic Marvel character (even though everybody's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was nowhere to be found). Following the money, Sony gave the green light to Venom 2, which was later officially titled Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Details surrounding the plot and what we can expect from this blockbuster sequel are few and far between, but here's what we know about it at the moment.

Tom Hardy in Venom (2018)

The Current Venom: Let There Be Carnage Release Date Is Set For September 2021

Venom: Let There Be Carnage is currently slated to be released on Friday, September 24, 2021. The sequel was originally scheduled to hit theaters on October 2, 2020, but the date was pushed back to June 25th of the following year and then another few months due to the health crisis. With movie theaters officially back open and the most anticipated movies finally hitting the screen, it appears that this Sony Marvel movies sequel is one of the next 2021 new movie releases you can feel confident about.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Tom Hardy Returns To Lead The Venom: Let There Be Carnage Cast

The Venom 2 cast incorporates a few familiar faces and some new additions as well. Take a look at who will be there to experience the carnage.

Tom Hardy is Venom in Venom

Tom Hardy (Eddie Brock/Venom)

Tom Hardy will reprise his dual role as Eddie Brock/Venom. While that does not seem like much of a surprise, Venom: Let There Be Carnage does mark the first time the Dark Knight Rises star (who played Bane in the 2012 DC movie) is portraying the same comic book character for a second time.

Woody Harrelson as Carnage in Venom's post-credit teaser

Woody Harrelson (Cletus Kasady/Carnage)

Three-time Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson had never played a comic book character (unless you count his title role in the 2009 dark comedy Defendor) before his appearance in the Venom end credits scene as serial killer Cletus Kasady teased his role as Carnage in the sequel. His wardrobe items in the movie have certainly drawn a good bit of interest.

Naomie Harris as Shriek in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Naomie Harris (Shriek)

After playing a professional and romantic partner of Woody Harrelson in After the Sunset from 2004, Naomie Harris will once again join forces with the actor (but on the opposite side of the law) in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. The Oscar nominee’s villainous character, Shriek, is often known for teaming up with Carnage and using her cerebral powers in Marvel Comics.

Michelle Williams as Anne Weying in Venom

Michelle Williams (Anne Weying)

Four-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams returns to reprise her role as Anne Weying, Eddie Brock's ex-fiancée. It's unclear how exactly the Manchester By the Sea actress will factor into the plot this time, with some speculating if she will once again become She-Venom in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.

Reid Scott as Dr. Dan Lewis in Venom

Reid Scott (Dr. Dan Lewis)

Reid Scott of the Veep cast fame will reprise his Venom role of Dan Lewis - Anne's new boyfriend and the doctor who tries to help Eddie after he becomes infected by his alien symbiote. The actor will also become a DC movies star soon when he voices the dual roles of Green Arrow and Victor Zsasz in Injustice: Gods Among Us! The Movie.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage star Stephen Graham in The Irishman

Stephen Graham (Detective Mulligan)

British actor and The Irishman star Stephen Graham has joined the Venom: Let There Be Carnage cast as a cop named Mulligan. Best known for playing Tommy in Guy Ritchie’s 2000 classic Snatch, the actor’s first taste of comic book movie stardom came with a role in the 2019 Hellboy reboot opposite David Harbour.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage star Sean Delaney on Killing Eve

Sean Delaney (TBA)

Sean Delaney has also joined the Venom: Let There Be Carnage cast in an unknown role. The actor is best known so far for his role on the hit AMC series Killing Eve as hacker Kenny Stowton.

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Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis in Black Panther

Venom: Let There Be Carnage Is Directed By Andy Serkis

With Venom director Ruben Fleischer unavailable to return to the director's chair, as he was apparently still finishing up 2019's Zombieland: Double Tap at the time, Sony had a few choices in mind for this forthcoming blockbuster sequel. With a list of hopefuls that reportedly included Travis Knight, Rupert Wyatt, and Rupert Sanders, Andy Serkis ended up securing the job, due in part to his long history of working both as an actor and filmmaker with motion-capture VFX.

While Serkis (who is also playing Alfred Pennyworth in 2022’s The Batman) is best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings franchise and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes movies prequel trilogy, Serkis has quickly built up a director's resume for himself. He served as a second unit director on The Hobbit trilogy, and he helmed 2017's drama Breathe and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle for Netflix.

Tom Hardy and his pal symbiote buddy in Venom

Kelly Marcel Returned To Write Venom: Let There Be Carnage

While Jeff Pinker & Scott Rosenberg (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level) wrote the story and script for Venom, Kelly Marcel — who also shaped it up — is the only scribe who returned to work on the sequel. As a writer, Marcel's name is attached to some high-profile projects, including Saving Mr. Banks and Fifty Shades of Grey.

She was also the creator of the short-lived sci-fi series Terra Nova and Disney's Cruella credits her as one of the story writers. Marcel and Tom Hardy have been good friends for years, notably doing uncredited rewrites on his 2008 film Bronson, and the actor is likely the one who convinced Sony to bring her back. In fact, Hardy even helped with the script, reportedly.

Eddie with the Symbiote in Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Venom 2 Will Spend More Time With Eddie And Venom

One major aspect of Sony's Venom that won over many viewers is the symbiotic relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom, both of whom were played by Tom Hardy. The strange, unsettling, intriguing, and even somewhat romantic courtship between this disgraced reporter and his gooey friend served as the heart of this anti-hero story, and their sequences together were among the movie's better beats. Thankfully, the producers have listened to the criticism and feedback from audiences and decided to spend more time focused on their partnership in an effort to appeal to the large swaths of people who showed up to see the 2018 movie. Here's what producer Matt Tolmach said about this decision:

[Fans] love that relationship. What people say all the time is the relationship between Eddie and Venom is… I just want to spend more time with those guys. And that's such a testament to Tom Hardy, who obviously played both parts. It's similar to, and I'm not just trying to bring back to Jumanji, but it's the characters. It's the thing you want to hear when you launch a franchise is that what works is the heart of the movie. And the heart of Venom was always the relationship between Eddie and Venom. These two characters, these two sides that had to figure out how to live together and that were somehow better together than they were separately, or more successful, and what that meant.

It will be interesting to see how Eddie Brock and the symbiote's relationship has changed since we last saw them, and what they will have to go through together in the sequel.

Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker in Joker

The Producers Considered Making Venom 2 R-Rated Based On Joker's Success

While moviegoers were initially led to believe that Venom might tout an R rating, those hopes were ultimately dashed when the comic book adaptation was stamped with an MPAA-certified PG-13 rating. Whether or not Venom was ever meant to be R-rated, the movie certainly found an audience. When it comes to its box office success, there's little doubt in the producers' eyes that its teen-friendly rating helped it gain a massive audience. As cameras rolled on this sequel, however, Joker made a billion dollars worldwide, despite its R rating. With that said, while the producers haven't decided officially (or, at least, publicly) on the rating, Matt Tolmach admits that they've considered the possibility of giving this one an R rating, even though they don't want to turn away the younger audiences who showed up the last time around.

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The Cinerama Theatre in Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood

Oscar-Winning Cinematographer Robert Richardson Shot Venom 2

The original Venom had the benefit of Oscar-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (Black Swan, A Star Is Born) on hand to shoot the movie. While he wasn't able to return for the sequel, the production wasn't hurting in the visual department. Director Andy Serkis hired acclaimed cinematographer Robert Richardson to manage the camera this time around. The three-time Oscar-winning D.P. is behind many acclaimed titles, including (but not limited to), Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, The Aviator, Inglourious Basterds, Hugo, Django Unchained, the Kill Bill movies, Wall Street, The Hateful Eight and, most recently, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Richardson also shot Serkis' directorial debut, Breathe, and he agreed to work on the filmmaker's latest directorial feature. Venom: Let There Be Carnage should hopefully look great with such a prestigious cinematographer behind the camera.

The City of San Francisco in Venom (2018)

Filming Of Venom 2 Took Place In England And San Francisco

San Francisco played a prominent role in 2018's Venom, though production was split between this city, Atlanta, and New York City. When it comes to Venom: Let There Be Carnage, production was shot overseas, specifically at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, England under the working title Fillmore, but additional production began in San Francisco. It appears that the movie finished production and began post-production shortly before many film productions were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it may have suffered its fair share of delays, with a new director at the helm and beloved actors joining the cast, it looks like Venom: Let There Be Carnage could be worth the wait.

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