Andy Serkis has won a contest of champions to direct the Venom sequel.
Variety reports Ruben Fleischer, director of the first Venom, will not be able to return as he will still be in post-production on Zombieland: Double Tap during the period Sony has scheduled for Venom 2 production later this fall. To find a replacement, the studio considered a group of filmmakers including Bumblebee‘s Travis Knight and Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ Rupert Wyatt. Serkis — who grew to prominence playing motion-capture characters like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Wyatt’s Apes movie, but has since gone on to direct films like Mowgli and Breathe — won out.
The film will see Tom Hardy returning as the one-man double act of Eddie Brock and Venom, but it is unclear if any other characters from the first film will continue to appear. Also in doubt: Woody Harrelson’s return as serial killer Kletus Kassady from Venom‘s mid-credits stinger scene. The long-time Fleischer associate was presumed to become the villain of the sequel, but now he may be held in reserve for a third picture or recast entirely.
Venom 2 is scheduled for release in October of 2020.