With the unexpected box office success of Sony's Venom movie, it was hardly a surprise that a sequel was swiftly confirmed. The Tom Hardy Spider-Man spin-off made more money than Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool 2 at the box office.
But in reality, the rumours of a sequel began even earlier than that. Cast members were already talking about a sequel before Venom came into the cinemas.
It's been a while since Venom released in 2018, and now we're full swing into Venom 2, written and executive producer by the first film's co-writer Kelly Marcel.
Read on for everything else we know about Venom 2, like the trailer release date, cast, a Tom Holland cameo, and more.
Venom 2 plot: Spider-Man and Carnage?
"This feels very much like Venom's movie. It's the introduction of the character," Ruben Fleischer said of the first film, before teasing: "As to where it will go in future movies, and who he'll run across, I can't say."
Venom 2's new director Andy Serkis has confirmed the movie will be an "extraordinary piece of cinema" but didn't reveal much about the plot.
He told IGN: "I can't tell you any ideas right now. I'm in the beginning stages, but I have some very clear ideas about what I want to see visually, and how we can take the characters to another dimension."
Matt Tolmach, the producer on both Venom and Venom 2, told CinemaBlend that the sequel will focus on the relationship between Eddie and Venom. "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."
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said that a crossover "seems likely at some point", while producer Amy Pascal is a big fan of Tom Holland but didn't specifically state Holland would be in a Venom movie.
"We have big plans for Tom Holland to be a part of everything," she said. "Every movie we ever do! He needs to be in every movie that I ever work on!"
For a while it seemed like we'd be getting a Venom and Spider-Man crossover sooner rather than later. Marvel and Sony had ongoing negotiations over Spider-Man's crossing over from his home studio, Sony, to play with the MCU.
In the end, though, the two studios came to an agreement and Spider-Man is back in the MCU, and seems to be the only character capable of jumping between the two studios' cinematic universes.
However, Spider-Man isn't wholly ruled out of appearing in a Venom movie. The original director Ruben Fleischer said that a confrontation between the two is "where it's all going to lead". But it is important to note that Fleisher isn't directing the sequel, so whether this is something Andy Serkis wants remains to be seen.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige did say it was "likely" that the two would cross paths.
As for our friendly neighbourhood symbiote pairing, Eddie Brock and Venom have apparently dedicated themselves to doing good and only snacking on the heads of people who are definitely bad. What could possibly go wrong?
And the end of the film promises that another symbiote will show up – Venom's offspring, Carnage.
However, even the arrival of Carnage won't make it R-rated, according to producer Avi Arad. "When you hear Carnage, the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there's no R here," he told Collider.
"He's a tortured soul. It's not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation?"
We might not see blood, but we'll definitely see Carnage. Venom 2 cinematographer Robert Richardson has confirmed that the serial-killing symbiote would be the main villain of the movie. "Now you've got Woody Harrelson, who's going to obviously make his own little entrance here."
Whatever the film ends up being about, Andy Serkis is going to push the character further than ever before, says Richardson.
"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."
Richardson's also looking forward to working with Tom Hardy.
"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."
Venom 2 cast: Who is returning?
It was pretty much a given that Tom Hardy would be back as Eddie Brock and his alien alter ego. They make actors sign multi-film contracts these days, don'tcha know.
But in case you needed confirmation, Pascal said in June 2019: "I can say that Tom Hardy will be back, magnificently playing that character as no one else can.
"When you think of Venom, you'll never be able to think of anyone but Tom Hardy sitting in that bathtub of lobsters. And once you saw Tom Hardy do this character, that's all you needed to know."
Michelle Williams, who stars as Eddie Brock's ex-wife Anne Weying, will also return. The actress told Yahoo, simply "I'm in." The sequel will hopefully turn the question mark over her relationship with Eddie at the conclusion of the first movie into a full stop. Or an ellipsis. Or some more positive punctuation mark.
But more importantly, Williams hopes the sequel will give She-Venom equal screen time.
One new addition to the cast list is likely to be Naomie Harris. Though it has yet to be 100% confirmed, it seems highly probable that the James Bond star will play the villain Shriek in the Venom sequel.
National treasure and frequent Tom Hardy colleague Stephen Graham has been confirmed to be joining the Venom sequel, but his role has yet to be confirmed.
Beyond that, Sony has a series of superhero movies in the pipeline, so perhaps Morbius (Jared Leto), Silver Sable, Black Cat, Silk, Nightwatch, Jackpot or any of Spider-Man's other allies and enemies could show up.
Venom 2 release date: When will it arrive?
The first film hit cinemas on October 5, 2018 and it looks like the sequel will stick to the same early October slot.
Nothing has been officially confirmed though... yet.
Venom 2 director: Second bite for Fleischer?
Despite Harrelson being attracted to the first Venom movie because of Fleischer, the director will not return for the sequel.
"Well, you know, Ruben Fleischer did Zombieland, directed it, so that was a big part of it. And also, Tom Hardy. I really respect him and think he's one of the great actors. So that, coupled with what is a really wonderful script, I felt like I kind of should, you know? Roll of the dice."
Most presumed this meant Fleischer and Harrelson were planning to work together on the second film.
However, Fleischer was too busy working on Zombieland 2 to return for Venom 2 so Andy Serkis was hired to direct the sequel for Sony. Serkis said: "It's a fantastic franchise and I'm honoured to be asked to direct it. It feels like a very contemporary story."
Michelle Williams has made it clear she's going to enjoy working with her new director.
"I'm such a fan of Andy's, and I'm so inspired by what he's been able to accomplish," she said. "He's so gifted in such a specific way, and I'm very excited to learn from him and be around him."
And, sort of likewise, Serkis expressed his excitement to work with leading man Tom Hardy, saying: "I've known Tom for years, and admired him as an actor and a producer. And we've wanted to work together for years."
Venom 2 trailer: When will it land?
Nothing to see here, yet. If you just can't wait to see Tom Hardy and Andy Serkis together, you can watch the pair collaborate on Steven Knight's A Christmas Carol mini-series which went out at – hey! – Christmas.
For now though, all you can do is watch the trailer for the first film again where they use a fan-baiting pronunciation of "sym-bye-ote".
However, there are signs that production on Venom 2 is underway thanks to Tom Hardy's posted — but swiftly deleted — Instagram pictures.
The first features the star in what appears to be a makeup trailer with the caption "W3'R'V3N0M2 day one." The second picture was of Hardy's dog, a French Bulldog, and the caption featured a message of best wishes on his first day of work from his human co-worker.
Both photos have been removed, and replaced by more vague pictures. Instead of the picture in the make-up trailer, Hardy has posted an illustration of intertwined symbiotes - red and blue. The picture has no caption.
The second image is still of his dog, but this time it has no caption. Instead you can see a Warner Brothers ID card for 'Blue' with a picture of his dog. In big block letters is the world Fillmore, the rumoured working title for the Venom sequel.
What does it mean? Likely nothing — simply that principal photography has begun and the studio probably doesn't want Hardy inadvertently spilling any details about the production ahead of their say-so. The timing does fit in with the purported release date of October 2, 2020.
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