One of the big blockbuster movies that had remained on its release date for a long time was the sequel to the 2018 smash hit Venom, starring Tom Hardy as the infamous Marvel Comics alien symbiote and nemesis of Spider-Man. Venom 2 had been pegged for October 2 of this year and until today that’s where it stayed, possibly in the hope that moviegoing would be back to normal by the fall.
Well, that’s not the case anymore: according to Deadline, the sequel has now moved to June 25, 2021, which is the disappointing but not entirely shocking news. On the bright side, however, the movie is now officially called Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
If that release date looks familiar to sharp-eyed readers out there, that’s because it was the original arrival date for The Batman, director Matt Reeves’ new take on the Caped Crusader. In the wake of The Batman moving to October 1, 2021 (about a quarter of the movie had been shot before COVID-19 shut down all production), Sony Pictures clearly saw its chance to move Venom: Let There Be Carnage to a slot that will — we hope — find audiences going to theaters again in a significant way.
The title refers to Cletus Kasady/Carnage, symbiote supervillain and an enemy to both Venom and Spidey. Carnage is going to be played in the new movie by Woody Harrelson, whose appearance was teased at the end of the first Venom. In addition to Hardy, Michelle Williams and Reid Scott are also returning for the new film, while new cast members reportedly include Naomie Harris (No Time to Die), who’s possibly playing Carnage ally and lover Shriek.
Andy Serkis — who funnily enough, is playing Alfred in The Batman — is directing Venom: Let There be Carnage, taking over for the first entry’s Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland: Double Tap). Although it faced tough reviews, the first Venom was a massive hit, generating $213.5 million at the North American box office and taking in a haul of $856 million worldwide.
The new film is once again produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal, shepherds of all Spider-Man related properties at Sony Pictures. In addition to Venom: Let There Be Carnage, that slate includes Morbius — starring Jared Leto as Marvel’s vampiric anti-hero — an untitled Spidey spin-off movie slated for October 2021 and the sequel to Spider-Man: Far from Home, produced in conjunction with Marvel Studios and set for a July 2021 launch, although that could change.