Tom Hardy defends first Venom movie ahead of Let There Be Carnage release

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Actor Tom Hardy has responded to criticism of the first Venom movie ahead of the release of its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, on October 15.

In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, Hardy said of 2018’s Venom: “Obviously, it didn’t meet… it didn’t carry any water with critics [...] they literally panned us. But the audiences turned out in droves, which was what was so lovely about it.”

While the actor admitted that Sony’s first Venom instalment “wasn’t [his] vision of the movie” – “there were other powers at play in that aspect,” he said – Hardy described its unexpected box office success as “like watching an underdog be lifted up and enjoyed for what it was.”

Sony’s antihero movie was, as Hardy mentions, near-universally dismissed by critics, but it would go on to rake in an eye-watering $856 million worldwide from a reported budget of around $116 million.

It’s no wonder, then, that the studio commissioned a sequel only a few months after Venom’s release. Venom: Let There Be Carnage will see Hardy reprise his role as the titular symbiote, this time doing battle with Woody Harrelson’s Cletus Kasady (AKA Carnage). Andy Serkis is directing the sequel, while Zombieland's Ruben Fleischer handled the original.

Having wrapped filming on the first Venom movie, Hardy told CinemaBlend he “got straight on the phone” with Sony to pitch a second, adding that he was “really keen to take what we learned from [the first movie] and get on with writing that second one, to see if we could push it further.”

Analysis: Where does Venom go next? 

As for the future of the franchise – if indeed two films can be considered as such – it’s no secret that fans, and Hardy himself, are excited by the potential for a crossover movie with Tom Holland's Spider-Man.

Speaking as part of a recent Esquire profile, the actor said he “wouldn’t be doing the job if [he] wasn’t awake and open to any opportunity or eventuality or be excited by [the idea of a crossover].”

"Should both sides be willing, and it be beneficial to both sides, I don’t see why it couldn’t be,” Hardy added. “I hope and strongly, with both hands, push, eagerly, towards that potential, and would do anything to make that happen."

In order to make that hope a reality, though, it’s likely that Venom: Let There Be Carnage will need to reach a similar level of box office success as its predecessor. 

Interestingly, we also know the upcoming sequel will be one of the shortest comic book movies ever made at just 97 minutes long, which could have consequences – either positive or negative – for its critical and commercial reception. 

Perhaps, after years of drawn out and overly-long superhero adventures, a movie that places fast-paced action front and center will prove a welcome change. 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.