We've got some juicy bits of info regarding Venom 2. First up, we have word that Stephen Graham, who most recently starred in Martin Scorsese's gangster epic The Irishman, has been added to the growing cast. We also are hearing from one of the movie's producers that, largely thanks to the success Joker has enjoyed over the past few months, an R-rating isn't off the table for the sequel.
As for the casting, according to several reports, Stephen Graham has joined the cast in a currently undisclosed role. Graham's previous credits include HBO's Boardwalk Empire, Snatch, Gangs of New York and, more recently, the Elton John biopic Rocketman. The cast also includes returning stars Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams, as well as Woody Harrelson, who appeared briefly in a post-credit sequence in the first movie. Harrelson is playing Cletus Kasady, aka the man that goes on to become fan-favorite villain Carnage. Oscar-winner Naomie Harris is also on board and is set to play the character Shriek.
The other bit of very interesting information comes from producer Matt Tolmach. When last we heard, the only way Venom 2 will be R-rated is if the Sony/Marvel Studios deal fell through. However, the two studios came to terms on the future of Spider-Man, so it seemed like Venom 2 was going the PG-13 route once again. However, Tolmach explained in a recent interview that Joker has made it so they are, at the very least, considering it. Here's what he had to say.
"I mean, I think you always have to think about [it], now that that works. Having said that, our movie worked really well. Our franchise exists as it is, and I don't think anybody is looking to just say, 'Hey, they [did it]!' We have a place in the world. So it isn't like suddenly everybody's considering what to do with the rating...
I think what Joker does is it tells you that you can succeed. For a very long time, that was the narrative. And Deadpool sort of wrestled that to the turf, and then Logan, but for a long time, that was considered totally forbidden... So you know, I think it's the greatest thing in the world that R-rated movies are being embraced by massive audiences. And it just means that there are more opportunities for that kind of storytelling."
Joker has grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office since its release in early October. The first Venom was PG-13, even though many wanted to see a more violent version of the character on screen. Still, it didn't hurt the bottom line, as the Spider-Man spin-off grossed $855 million at the global box office, obliterating expectations.
Andy Serkis (Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle) is in the director's chair, working from a script by Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks). Sony hasn't officially announced a release date yet, but it's expected that Venom 2 will hit theaters on October 2, 2020, since the studio has staked out that date for an unnamed sequel. The news of the movie's possible R-rating comes to us via Joblo.