The next “Venom” movie is one step closer to production, but details are slim. Multiple outlets reported on Monday that Andy Serkis is joining the sequel as the film’s director, which would confirm the THR report a few weeks ago. “Venom 2” doesn’t have a release date or an official title at this time, but the pieces are slowly coming together.

Serkis replaces Ruben Fleischer, who directed the original “Venom” in 2018. The first installment was an instant hit for Sony Pictures, opening at number one in October with an $80M debut against “A Star is Born.” Starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Jenny Slate, and Riz Ahmed, “Venom” went on to make over $856M for the studio. While the film was a financial success, the reviews were brutal. Critics gave the movie a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but fans gave the movie an 81% rating. While that may have been a glowing review ten years ago, Marvel changed studio’s expectations with big-budget comic book movies, which are now earning Oscar nods.

Tom Hardy is expected to return to his role as Eddie Brock / Venom, along with Michelle Williams. Woody Harrelson is also rumored to return, playing the role of Carnage in the movie. Original screenwriter Kelly Marcel is expected to write the script for the sequel, and we should have a tentative release date over the next few months.

Since his mainstream debut as Golem in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” Serkis has spent a lot of time behind the camera. Recently Serkis directed “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,” and the 2017 bio-drama “Breathe” with Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, and Hugh Bonneville. As an actor he’s been in featured in “Black Panther,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

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