Studios continue to scramble due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as the Delta variant surges. The latest is Sony as it has delayed Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, which has been pushed back from September 24 to October 15.
Studios pay close attention to the National Research Group. A recent survey in audience confidence went down on July 11 to 66 percent, where it was previously at 81. Typically, anything below 70 spells trouble for a movie’s performance, and in this case, that movie is Venom 2.
Venom 2 getting delayed is not the biggest surprise. Outside of the survey and the virus, the latest trailer from earlier this month did not give confidence to fans. In the end, instead of giving the September release date, it just said that it was coming “this fall.” Now we know the vague release card was appropriate with this latest development for the superhero movie.
Other movies have pulled dates away from September. Clifford the Big Red Dog also moved out of the month, but unlike Venom 2 having a backup plan, nothing was announced for Clifford’s live-action adventure.
The October 15 date is interesting as it will mean that Venom 2 will compete against Halloween Kills as it hits theaters on the same day. Audiences have been picky on what is worth going to the theaters for, so despite the rating difference as the comic book flick is PG-13 and the slasher is R, it could hinder one or the other’s box office performance.
Tom Hardy (Dunkirk) returns to the role of Eddie Brock, the journalist with the symbiote inside of him. The end of the first movie teased Woody Harrelson’s (True Detective) Carnage, who is the antagonist in Venom 2. It will be directed by Andy Serkis (Black Panther) with writers Hardy and returning from the first installment, Kelly Marcel (Cruella). Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) and Reid Scott (Veep) are some of the returning stars for the sequel. It is produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, Amy Pascal, and Hutch Parker.
Venom 2 marks the fourth directed film from the Lord of the Rings actor. His directorial debut was 2017’s Breathe with Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) and Clarie Foy (The Crown). His last big release was 2018’s star-studded adaption of Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. The film starred Serkis, Christian Bale (Vice), Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok), Benedict Cumberbatch (Avengers: Infinity War, Endgame), and Naomie Harris (Rampage).
The setup for Venom 2 worked out as the 2018 movie was a box office hit. Off its $100 million budget, it raked in $856 million worldwide. Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland: Double Tap) directed with writers Marcel and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Next Level writers Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg.
Venom 2 is a part of the ever-growing universe Sony is piecing together. January 28 will see Morbius, the vampire Marvel character played by Jared Leto (Suicide Squad). In January 2023, fans can see the standalone movie for villain Kraven the Hunter with Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age of Ultron). So far, there has not been a crossover between the world Sony is building and Marvel Studios’ franchise.