While 2018’s Venom movie – starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the human host of Marvel’s Spider-Man-adjacent alien symbiote – was a major box office hit, there are plenty of changes behind the scenes for its upcoming sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. For one, it has a fresh director in Gollum himself, Andy Serkis – but it’s also had a switch-up in the writing department too. On sole screenplay duties this time is the returning Kelly Marcel, but the ‘Story By’ credit sees her working alongside a very intriguing writer: Tom Hardy. (The actor, not the 19th Century Far From The Madding Crowd novelist, to be clear.)

Marcel and Hardy have had a collaborative partnership going back nearly 20 years, but this will mark his first writing credit on a feature film. “This is new for him, to get credit,” Marcel tells Empire in the new The Suicide Squad issue, “but it’s not new for him to be this involved. He’s absolutely 100 per cent committed to everything that he does.” It’s fitting that Hardy’s first writing credit will be for a character he’s deeply connected to, both on and off screen. “He’s married to Venom,” says Marcel. “He loves this character. He’s very involved in what he thinks should happen.”

Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel

Tom Hardy and Kelly Marcel ©Kevin Winter/Getty

While Marcel gets the full screenplay credit, her script sprang from lengthy conversations with Hardy where they hashed out how exactly Venom and chaotic red symbiote Carnage (which attaches itself to Woody Harrelson’s serial killer Cletus Kasady) will collide on screen. “He doesn’t get a pen and write,” explains Marcel of Hardy’s process. “We spent months breaking the story together on FaceTime, riffing on ideas, seeing what worked, seeing what didn’t. Then I took everything we spoke about and holed up somewhere for three months quietly, knocking out a script.”

Empire August 2021 – The Suicide Squad cover 1

Read the full story in Empire’s The Suicide Squad issue, on sale Thursday 8 July – and see what the pair have cooked up when Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits UK cinemas on 15 September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.