VENOM Director Ruben Fleischer Reveals Why He Didn't Return To Take The Helm Of The Sequel

Andy Serkis is taking the helm of Venom 2, so why isn't Ruben Fleischer returning to direct after the first instalment proved to be a box office hit? Here, the Zombieland: Double Tap director explains all!

Venom wasn't exactly embraced by critics, but moviegoers certainly seemed to enjoy it as the movie ultimately earned over $850 million at the worldwide box office. So, with that in mind, why didn't director Ruben Fleischer return to take the helm of the upcoming sequel? 

Well, according to the Zombieland: Double Tap helmer, it boils down to a matter of timing. 

"I was busy getting this movie done," he said, referring to the Zombieland sequel. "I think they’re already shooting that film. And I just finished this a couple weeks ago. So the schedule didn’t allow it." There's a chance, of course, that Sony wanted to hit the reset button on the franchise, hence why they've brought in mo-cap legend Andy Serkis to direct Venom 2

However, it definitely wouldn't have been easy for Fleischer to jump straight from Zombieland: Double Tap into the Venom sequel because there's an overlap there which would have complicated things. The director clearly had a vision for the sequel (he was the one who introduced Cletus Kasady in that mid-credits scene), but it's now down to Serkis to take that and deliver something fans will love. 

Watch our Zombieland: Double Tap interview with Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg below:


Check out some awesome Venom concept art revealing
alternate takes on the character by hitting the "View List" button!

Venom part 1


As you can see, Venom has no chest symbol here and looks a lot like the Ultimate version of the character as a result. Still, something is definitely better than nothing, as you'll see below. 
 
Venom part 1


Venom has a chest logo here and it looks a lot like the one from the comics. Unfortunately, Sony decided not to include that, presumably because this version of Venom hasn't met Spider-Man.
 
Venom part 1


This is a very extreme take on Venom, but he looks awesome and it would be great to see the Symbiote evolve into this monstrous form in the sequel, especially when he faces off with Carnage! 
 
Variation of Head Design A

 
Variation of Head Design B


These designs should definitely remind you of the comic books, as Venom is sporting more of a blue hue. Artist Matt Millard did a great job of imagining how the character could look on screen. 
 
Character Studies, A

 
Character Studies, B


"One of my first task on this movie was to infuse some life in the Character, play around with Venom and make a series of quick studies showing him not as a 3D model but as a creature with a distinct personality (there is a sort of grotesque joyfulness in the character I really love, especially in the Lethal Protector comics)," concept artist Paolo Giandoso says about these pieces. 
 
Transformation Studies, A

 
Transformation Studies, B


"Then I was asked to design ways for the Symbiote to slither over Eddie's face and create Venom," he continues. "In my mind, the symbiote, being a shapeshifter, can potentially grow teeth, gums, eyes and tongues wherever it wants over his surface. All its matter has the potential to become these sort of features.

"It just chooses to create them on the face to arrange them in a way is more functional for a bipedal host. I wanted to give the idea of these features emerging and rearranging, lines of teeth moving and sliding around until they compose the final shape we all know."
It's a shame we didn't see more of that green slime, eh?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


So, yeah, that looks a lot like Carnage, right? "I was tasked with concepting the whole symbiote final fight, mechanics and all, the way the Venom and his evil counterpart clash together and merge, until the final sacrifice scene after the rocket explosion," Giandoso explains. With that in mind, common sense says that Carnage was probably used as just a stand-in here. 
 

 

 

 

 


"These images are a small section of a deleted scene from the beginning of the third act, in which Eddie confront his buddy about his hypocrisy and they finally make peace and move on to save the world," Giandoso notes. It would have been really cool to see this before the final battle but it arguably wasn't needed as these two managed to make amends in a somewhat simpler exchange. 

Many thanks to artists David MassonMatt Millard, and Paolo Giandoso.
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