As Naomie Harris gears up for the release of her action-drama Black and Blue this weekend, there’s some additional Sony business occupying the actor’s mind, as she may be cast as the Marvel villain Shriek in director Andy Serkis’ Venom 2. Should this be confirmed, it’d be a sort of reunion on two different fronts, as Harris not only has worked with Serkis, but she’s also worked with the man playing Venom 2’s main villain, Woody Harrelson.
The subject came up when I attended the Black and Blue press day on behalf of CinemaBlend and asked Naomie Harris how she felt about this potential casting. Her reaction was as follows:
I’m in discussions. … I’m a fan of the franchise. I worked with Andy Serkis. I’ve worked with him twice before. And I’ve also worked with Woody Harrelson as well, at the very start of my career. The very first Hollywood movie I ever did was with Woody Harrelson. So I’d love to reunite with those guys.
With a career that includes her breakout role in director Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, big ticket franchise work through the Pirates of the Caribbean series, and her recent Academy Award-nominated performance in Moonlight, Naomie Harris has pretty much done it all. And if Venom 2 ends up landing her skills, she’ll be in fantastic hands, as she was directed by Andy Serkis in his directorial debut, the Netflix original Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle.
But in addition to that collaboration, Andy Serkis and Naomie Harris have actually acted together, back in the 2010 biopic on British punk music legend Ian Dury, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. With the potential to star as Venom 2’s Shriek, Naomie Harris would also be returning to work with Woody Harrelson, the man she had mentioned was one of her first co-stars in a major Hollywood film.
Previously, Woody Harrelson had starred with Naomie Harris in director Brett Ratner’s heist comedy After The Sunset, which was released in 2004. The pair had previously teamed up in that film to investigate Pierce Brosnan and his supposed retirement as a suspected jewel thief, which makes their potential pairing as the criminal antagonists to Tom Hardy’s Venom being all the more fitting.
With the potential of three talented forces who’ve previously worked together, all teaming with Tom Hardy to make Venom 2 the best sequel it can be, it seems like things are looking way, way up for the follow-up to last year’s surprise box office hit. And if Naomie Harris is cast as Shriek, she just might have one more reunion in store, as her part in Black and Blue partnered her with Reid Scott, also known as Dr. Dan Lewis, the would-be love interest to Michelle Williams’ character Annie Weyling, in Ruben Fleischer’s Venom.
Of course, this is all speculative at this point, as Harris is in talks to play Shriek in Venom 2. As there’s totally a chance that this deal could fall through, it’s best not to put too many eggs in this basket. But should this all line up as it might, this is just further proof that while Hollywood is a big business, it can also be a small world when it comes to where the next gig will take you.