Last week, the director search for Venom 2 was narrowed down to three. Andy Serkis was prematurely announced by star Tom Hardy on Instagram. Now it’s official: Andy Serkis will direct the Venom sequel. Serkis was on a Television Critics Association panel for FX’s miniseries A Christmas Carol, so reporters were able to ask Serkis about directing Venom 2.
Since Serkis just signed on to direct this week, it’s not surprising that his answers at this point are a tad vague. He did answer several questions before moving on to A Christmas Carol, so let’s dive into his visual plans, his history with Tom Hardy, and his approach to directing, as well as Serkis’ thoughts on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings streaming series.
Andy Serkis Has “Very Clear Ideas”
Venom 2 will be the biggest film Serkis has directed to date. He previously directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, which had plenty of performance capture characters, and the intimate biography Breathe. Between Mowgli and Serkis’ history with performance capture in the Planet of the Apes films, King Kong, and Lord of the Rings, the visuals of Venom will be in his wheelhouse.
“I’m right at the beginning stages,” Serkis said. “I’ve got some very clear ideas about the journey I’d like to see visually and how we can take the characters into another dimension.”
Serkis Puts Trust in Hardy and His Collaborators
Before Venom came out, Hardy said in the press that 40 minutes of his favorite material had been deleted. Since the film was a hit, perhaps Hardy will get his way on the sequel.
“Tom is very involved with the writing with Kelly Marcel of the new story, so it’s very much centered around their take,” Serkis said.
Andy Serkis is an accomplished director and performer in his own right. He certainly warrants the authority of the director’s chair. However, Serkis’ approach is to create an inclusive environment with all his collaborators.
“What I’ve learned from directing full stop is you’re working with an extraordinarily team of highly talented people and to create an atmosphere where everyone is able to do their work to 150%,” Serkis said. “As much as anything, directing is about creating an atmosphere of people not being afraid to step forward with their very best work.”
Hardy is someone with whom Serkis had been trying to collaborate for many years.
“I’ve known Tom for many years and always admired him hugely as an actor and producer,” Serkis said. “We’ve always wanted to work together directly. I’m deeply excited to work with Tom Hardy and to work with all the great actors who are involved in it. It’s a fantastic franchise. I’m really honored to have been asked to direct it and it feels like it’s a very contemporary story. I think it’s going to be hopefully an extraordinary piece of cinema.”
No Gollum in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will be set in the Second Age, so that comes way before Smeagol and Gollum. Serkis confirmed this.
“There are no plans for me to be involved in it at all,” Serkis said. “I’m really excited that there’s going to be an Amazon TV version of it. I think it’s a world that will continue to be explored. From what I hear, they’re working on an earlier time frame before the Lord of the Rings story that we were involved in and the Middle-earth that we’ve seen in Peter Jackson’s films. But I believe that it will be shooting in New Zealand and Middle-earth will still be the character that we loved.”
A Christmas Carol premieres this December on FX.
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