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Venom 2 has been a certainty since the first movie released last October to massive box office receipts (though not critical acclaim). The movie is shaping up nicely behind the scenes, with actor Andy Serkis set to helm the sequel and take on his biggest project to date behind the camera. Also set to step behind the camera and lend his considerable talents to Venom 2 is Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson (JFK, Hugo, The Aviator), who'll be working with Serkis again after serving as Serkis' director of photography for his film, Breathe.
When asked why he decided to work on Venom 2, Robert Richardson went into a lot of detail, and ended up dropping the information that Woody Harrelson, who made a brief but impactful appearance in the end credits scene of Venom, appears to be coming back for the sequel. Here's what Richardson had to say:
I was looking forward to entering into that arena with Batman years ago with Ben [Affleck]. I thought, ‘Well this is something I haven’t done that I would love to try to do.’ And then Andy Serkis, who I worked with on Breathe, gave me a call a month ago and said that he was up for this and would I be willing. I’d seen the film. I watched it again, then they sent me a script and I felt like, yeah, I would say yes anyway to Andy just because I would say yes to Andy, but I also think it’s a great… I think it’s unexplored yet, and it’s going to explode, and this film, I think, will help it explode, because you have a remarkable central character with Venom, but now you’ve got Woody Harrelson, who’s going to obviously make his own little entrance here, and we’ll see what else comes in with the Sony Marvel collaboration. I look forward to it. It’s a massive change for me, but I’m excited. I think Hardy is one of our best. He never misses. I so look forward to sitting with him and watching him perform.
While Robert Richardson's words to Collider aren't exactly the same as official confirmation from Sony, director Andy Serkis or Woody Harrelson himself, it does seem like Richardson would already have an insider's view of what's going on with Venom 2, so it's unlikely that he's completely off base when he says that Harrelson will "make his own little entrance" in the new film.
And, this comes as little surprise to the legions of viewers who watched Venom and stuck around for the previously mentioned end credits scene which introduced us to Woody Harrelson's already dasterdly character. That sequence set up Harrelson as Cletus Kasady, an imprisoned serial killer who's asked Venom's far calmer host, investigative journalist Eddie Brock, to interview him. In the comics, Kasady eventually becomes host to his own bloody-minded symbiote, Carnage. But, because Kasady has none of Brock's moral code, he and his symbiote end up doing a lot more damage, leading Brock / Venom to have to stop them.
After getting this hint at Kasady / Carnage in Venom, it was pretty clear that the filmmakers wanted to explore these characters in a sequel. Now that the movie is being worked on it makes total sense that they would try to fulfill the promise of there being "a lot of Carnage" in Venom 2. Woody Harrelson worked with the director of the first film, Ruben Fleischer, on Zombieland, so the idea that his casting was any kind of fluke is out. They clearly wanted Harrelson to be their serial killer symbiote, and sticking with that for the sequel is a sound idea.
Of course, aside from this news not being totally official yet, another thing we don't know right now is just how much we'll see of Woody Harrelson in Venom 2. With such a big tease for his character at the end of the first movie, it would seem that they'd go full-on Carnage supervillain in the sequel, but they might decide to go another way and have him be a secondary bad guy who then needs to be fully dealt with in a third film. We'll just have to wait and see.
Overall, Robert Richardson seems pretty pumped to be a part of the Venom 2 family, explore something new in his career and work with some awesome people. He mentioned how excited he is to watch Tom Hardy work, and along with working on the script for the sequel he will indeed be back as Eddie and his head-chomping alter ego. Michelle Williams has also confirmed that she'll be back as Eddie's former fiancée (and one time She-Venom) Anne, so a lot of familiar players are going to populate the new movie, which should make fans happy.
Venom 2 doesn't have an official release date yet, but all signs point to October 2, 2020 as the next time we can get our fill of the symbiote's adventures. In the meantime, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for updates on this movie and everything debuting in theaters in the next few months.