Sony is casting a wide net to find a director to replace Ruben Fleischer on the sequel to ‘Venom’. We just learned that Andy Serkis (‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’) flew to Los Angeles to meet with Sony executives for the job. Now word has surfaced regarding who he is competing against– Travis Knight and Rupert Wyatt. Like Serkis, both are said to have met with executives to discuss the job.
Knight directed last December’s ‘Bumblebee’, and the stop-motion animated feature ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. He previously worked on a number of animated projects, including ‘ParaNorman’, ‘The Boxtrolls’, and ‘Missing Link’.
Perhaps Wyatt’s most successful film was ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’. More recently, he helmed the sci-fi dud ‘Captive State’.
Reportedly, none of these is a frontrunner yet, and these meetings with Sony have simply been introductory.
The screenplay for ‘Venom 2’, by Kelly Marcel, is reportedly complete, and Sony is said to want the sequel in production by November. The first ‘Venom’ was a surprise smash, making $856 million worldwide when it was released last fall.
In fact, ‘Venom’ opened on October 5, 2018, and Sony has October 2, 2020, locked in for an unnamed Marvel movie. It seems pretty obvious that the studio wants ‘Venom 2’ in theaters two years almost to the day following the first.
‘Venom’ starred Tom Hardy as struggling reporter Eddie Brock, who becomes bonded with an alien symbiote. The first movie also starred Michelle Williams and Riz Ahmed. Woody Harrelson was introduced as Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who will merge with his own symbiote to become Carnage, as the chief villain in the sequel.
‘Venom 2’ will follow ‘Morbius’, another Sony flick based on a character from ‘Spider-Man’ comics. That film was directed by Daniel Espinosa and stars Jared Leto, Tyrese Gibson, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, and Jared Harris. It will open on July 31st, 2020.
Neither ‘Venom’ nor ‘Morbius’ is expected to connect to the current ‘Spider-Man’ movies, which Sony produces under the guidance of Marvel Studios/Disney (at least for one more movie).
Do you have a preference between Serkis, Knight, and Wyatt?