With any franchise, there are always lessons to be learned from the first film, about what worked and what didn’t that can be used to make an even better movie the second time around. According to the producer of Sony’s 2018 surprise smash hit Venom, there is one big lesson in particular that will be informing next year’s sequel Venom 2. In an exclusive interview with CinemaBlend, producer Matt Tolmach explained what they took from the reaction to the first film, saying:
[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.
Sometimes the biggest lesson about a film isn’t what didn’t work but what did, and for Venom what worked was the central relationship between Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the symbiote Venom, also voiced by Tom Hardy. This is the thing that Venom producer Matt Tolmach has heard the most about the anti-hero’s solo film and the big lesson that will be informing Venom 2. Audiences want more of Eddie Brock and Venom interacting with one another.
Venom and Eddie bantering back and forth, insulting one another, fighting and ultimately learning that they are better together than they are apart was a true highlight of the first film. And that has been further reinforced by the feedback the filmmakers have received. In Matt Tolmach’s mind, the dynamic between the symbiote and his host that proved so appealing in Venom is all due to the performance of Tom Hardy.
The producer and the filmmakers behind Venom 2 recognize the strength of that performance and the Venom-Eddie relationship and how much audiences appreciated that element of Venom. That is a lesson they can and are taking into the creation of the sequel, which will presumably lean into that relationship.
The love for the Eddie/Venom dynamic is incredibly encouraging because as Matt Tolmach notes, it is testament to the strength of the characters. Eddie Brock and Venom are the central relationship at the heart of the Venom franchise and if those characters and that relationship don’t work you have nothing. But since the relationship does work and not only does it work, but people want more of it, you have a solid foundation on which to build and that will continue and grow in Venom 2.
As the big lesson Matt Tolmach took from Venom, it sounds like we can expect a lot more of fun interactions between Tom Hardy’s dual identities in Venom 2. The film should provide ample time to hit the ground running on that front too since Eddie and Venom will presumably still be together at the start of the film, so the insults and tater tots and lobster baths can start right away.
With the big lesson from Venom being the strength of the relationship between Eddie and Venom, you can understand one of the reasons why Andy Serkis might have been tapped to direct the sequel. Eddie and Venom have a real Gollum and Sméagol dynamic and you've got to imagine Andy Serkis can have some real fun with that and let Tom Hardy really cut loose and try some things out. We've already heard that the actor and director have great chemistry.