'Venom 2' release date, director, cast, plot, theories, and more

The plot is beginning to take shape.

Sony Pictures

Sony’s Venom movie was a massive unexpected worldwide box office hit, grossing more than $800 million despite no Spider-Man cameos or Marvel crossovers of any kind. Venom 2 always felt like a guarantee, and under director Andy Serkis, production already seems like it’s well under way.

Based on the Venom post-credits scene, we already knew the sequel would involve the villain Carnage (Woody Harrelson), but in October, Naomie Harris was cast as another villain Shriek so the movie’s cast and overall plot are starting to take shape.

Venom, based on the Marvel Comics nemesis of Spider-Man, tells the story of hard-hitting journalist Eddie Brock who becomes infected with a sentient alien ooze (a “symbiote”). The creature, called “Venom,” turns Eddie into a powerful superhuman being capable of releasing weaponized black goo in a myriad of ways, but he can also devour actual people for sustenance. How might the character evolve in the sequel?

Here’s everything we know about Venom 2:

'Venom' makes a new friend.Sony Pictures

What Is the Venom 2 Release Date?

Normally, there’d be no way to really know when a movie like this might eventually hit theaters, but because it’s a superhero property, Sony Pictures schedules these release dates far ahead of time.

In late November 2018, Variety reported, “An untitled Sony-Marvel project will hit theaters on July 10, 2020, with an untitled Sony-Marvel sequel following on Oct. 2.”

Variety assumes the July release is for Jared Leto’s Morbius and that the “Sony-Marvel sequel” on October 2 will be the Venom sequel. The first Venom hit theaters on October 5, 2018 so a sequel almost exactly two years later makes a lot of sense.

What’s the plot of Venom 2?

The Venom post-credits scene teased Carnage as a new character for the sequel. In the comics, Cletus Kasady is a serial killer who becomes the supervillain Carnage when a piece of the Venom symbiote bonds with him (or whatever the symbiote equivalent of procreation is). Venom oscillates between villain and anti-hero, but the bloodthirsty Carnage makes him look like a straight-uphero.

On October 15, 2019 Deadline reported that the film would also introduce a villain called Shriek, which means the plot could resemble the 1993 Marvel crossover comic Maximum Carnage.

She’s a mutant (like the X-Men) with latent powers who breaks out of jail with Kasady and goes on a killing spree. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Naomie Harris is in talks to play the role. The basic plot makes a lot of sense, but we still don’t know how Kasady becomes infected with a symbiote to become Carnage just yet.

What a smile!Sony Pictures

Who’s involved with the production ofVenom 2?

In January, Variety reported that Sony locked in Kelly Marcel (one of three writers on Venom) to pen the sequel. The same article revealed that director Ruben Fleischer may not return because he’ll be busy working on Zombieland 2.

Shortly after San Diego Comic-Con 2019, The Hollywood Reporter reported that actor Andy Serkis met with Sony to potentially direct Venom 2, and by August it was confirmed.

A pioneering motion capture performer, Serkis won recognition for his Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy between 2002 and 2004, and again for The Hobbit films a decade later. He furthered his resumé as Caesar in the reboot Planet of the Apes films from 2011 to 2017. His incomparable experience with CGI fits exceedingly well with the effects-heavy nature of Venom 2.

In addition to acting, Serkis became a director in 2017 with his feature debut Breathe. His second film, Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, was produced by Warner Bros. and released on Netflix. It earned mixed reviews under the shadow of Disney’s own take on the same mythology, in 2016’s The Jungle Book.

Will Venom face off against Spider-Man in a 'Venom' sequel?Sony Pictures / Marvel Studios / Nerdist

Could Spider-Man Appear in Venom 2?

When Sony and Disney announced Spider-Man’s departure from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in August 2019, it seemed that much more likely that Spidey might swing into Venom 2. But now that the relationship has been mended and Spider-Man is an MCU hero in the Avengers once again, the fate of his appearance in the Venom sequel remains unclear.

Eddie Brock actor Tom Hardy did share a random image to his Instagram account in October 2019 of himself in a Spider-Man costume, which could just be a funny troll or a deliberate clue about Venom 2. He deleted it either way, for whatever that’s worth.

Venom screenwriter Jeff Pinkner mentioned to Discussing Film in December 2018 that Spider-Man appearing in a future Venom movie was at least possible, saying, “Without revealing anything that I’m not allowed to reveal, it is not impossible that in a future / upcoming Venom movie that Spider-Man will play a significant role.”

This at least implies that Spider-Man appearing could happen, but wouldn’t it be strange to see Tom Holland’s small Spider-Man face Tom Hardy’s hulking Venom? “Everyone involved would be very excited by a Spider-Man/Venom movie,” Pinkner also said. So it seems like this is everyone’s hope, but who knows if it’ll actually happen?

Watch this breakdown of the Venom post-credits scene.