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Venom Eddie Brock sits on his motorcycle in a steamy alley

Sequels sometimes do a hell of a job of outperforming their progenitors, as movies like Annabelle: Creation and Ouija: Origin Of Evil are living proof that franchises can sometimes be saved. Recent developments surrounding Venom 2 seems to suggest that this Sony/Marvel follow-up is trying to do the same thing, as Andy Serkis was recently hired on as the film’s director.

Even more promising is the fact that the film has now landed a director of photography, and he’s a pretty impressive hire. If you’re a fan of how Once Upon A Time In Hollywood looked on the silver screen, then you’re about to see Robert Richardson’s skills for framing and scope head towards Venom 2’s production process. Richardson is the successor of Venom’s director of photography, A Star Is Born’s Matthew Libatique.

The connection between Robert Richardson and director Andy Serkis isn’t as far off as you’d think. These two professionals had previously worked together on Serkis’ directorial debut, Breathe, so there’s more than just a flashy hire at work here. Richardson’s resume can attest to the patterns of repeated hiring he’s been a party to, as he’s frequently worked with both Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino in the past.

Seeing this sort of visual talent gravitating towards a comic book adaptation would be similar to that of fellow director of photography Roger Deakins signing on for movies like Skyfall and Blade Runner 2049. In both of those cases, blockbuster films benefitted from a keen eye that knows not only how to nail character heavy moments, but also big ticket spectacle.

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Robert Richardson’s hiring, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, feels like the sort of refresh that Venom 2 certainly could use. After that first film’s financially successful, but critically panned, origin story, a new approach was clearly needed; one that shows the folks behind the filmmaking process are committed to making the best out of this second outing.

With both Tom Hardy and Michelle Willams returning to the fold, both contributors are also ready to work with Andy Serkis to make their second appearances in the Marvel anti-hero’s canon all the more exciting. That’s especially helpful in Hardy’s case, as he’s been very helpful with laying out the story of Venom 2.

Now, with the hypothetical images that come from Robert Richardson filming Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams in the same loving way he made Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio look like the best friends in 1969, this is a sequel that feels like an even better bet than ever. All that’s missing is further plot details and some more word on how Woody Harrelson is feeling about Carnage’s potential return, and this hype train will have rails to chug away on.

Venom 2 is still stuck without an official release date, but all signs seem to point towards an October 2nd, 2020 debut. In the meantime, take a look at the 2019 release schedule so you’re not left without a movie to head out to this weekend!

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