Venom was the surprise hit of the fall of 2018. While the movie was certainly expected to draw a crowd, it ended up setting box office records and grossing over $850 million worldwide. It was no surprise that a sequel was almost immediately given the green light. However, while all the key cast members will be back, behind the camera, Venom 2 will see a new director. as Andy Serkis is being brought in to replace Reuben Fleischer.
It's pretty unusual for a move that did so well the first time around to change directors for the sequel. Usually you see studios wanting to recreate the success of a first film as closely as possible, by bringing back basically everybody involved in the first movie. However, Reuben Fleischer revealed to our own ReelBlend podcast that returning for Venom 2 simply wasn't an option for him because his existing schedule, and Zombieland: Double Tap, didn't allow it. According to Fleischer...
I was busy getting this movie done. I think they’re already shooting that film. And I just finished this a couple weeks ago. So the schedule didn’t allow it.
Check out our full interview with Ruben right here in Episode 88 of ReelBlend:
Before Reuben Fleischer found success launching a Venom franchise. He made a hit movie called Zombieland. While that movie took a full decade to get a sequel, it also wanted to bring back as many of the key players from the first movie as possible. Since Fleischer was already on board Zombieland: Double Tap, he wasn't available to helm the Venom sequel, that was put on the fast track and is set for release next year.
It's not clear if Venom 2 has actually started shooting, our best information is that it will go before cameras next month, but even so, Reuben Fleischer has been working on the post-production of Zombieland: Double Tap over the last few months, during the same time that he would otherwise have been working on pre-production for Venom 2.
Of course, with the one movie ending and the other getting underway in such close proximity, it's certainly possible schedules could have been shifted slightly to accommodate Fleicher in order for him to return. However, the director goes on to tell Reelblend that having gone basically straight from Venom to Zombieland: Double Tap, he was looking for a break anyway.
I think they’re trying to get that movie out for next fall. Two years from the original release. I basically went from finishing Venom. I had a week off with my family. And then went straight into prep on Zombieland 2. So I’ve been making a movie for the past two and a half years with hardly a break. So I definitely wanted to get this one finished, and make it the greatest I could. And then I’ll probably take a little breather for myself.
A change in director is certainly going to have an impact on the new Venom movie, whether that's a good or bad thing, we'll have to wait and see. Zombieland: Double Tap hits theaters Friday. Venom 2 will be out in 2020.