Originally slated for an October 2, 2020 release, Venom 2 was bumped to June 25, 2021 due to COVID-19 before being bumped again to September 17, 2021. Oddly enough, that was only the start.
The title Let There Be Carnage more aptly describes Sony's calendar and marketing department in the following weeks and months as the sequel was moved again to September 24 and then October 15 of this year before finally settling on its October 1 debut.
Still, despite the confusion and frustration that accompanied the film's moving target for a release, according to Let There Be Carnage's director Andy Serkis, the delays actually worked to the film's benefit.
Venom Director Admits He Just Finished the Film
When Venom: Let There Be Carnage director Andy Serkis was asked by the ReelBlend Podcast (in an interview conducted in September) if he had continued to work on the film during its year-long delay, Serkis offered a surprising admission, saying, "We finished the last visual effects shot last week" as "the original release date was nigh on impossible:"
"I'll be truthful. We finished the last visual effects shot last week. We've just kept refining, kept refining, and actually, in all honesty, the original release date was nigh on impossible. It would've been a much poorer movie visually because there was so much to do. You know, the ambition for it was huge, and the time was not really long enough to really execute it."
Serkis finished shooting Let There Be Carnage in early 2020 with the goal of releasing the film in October of the same year. In a timeline where COVID-19 didn't exist, Serkis would've had about eight months or less to finish the film, as opposed to the roughly twenty months he's had since the cameras stopped rolling.
Serkis went on to acknowledge the nightmare that COVID-19 has been for everyone but admitted that the "silver lining for this movie was that we had more time to work on it. That's just the fact:"
However, the pandemic is partly to blame for the time the film demanded. Serkis touched on the difficulties most directors last year experienced with learning to adapt and "working by Zoom:"
"I mean, you've got to factor in that, of course, everyone was working by Zoom... We finished shooting three weeks before COVID hit. So I had three weeks with my editor, Stan Salfras. And then he, who I've worked with on the Apes movies in that region, we had a very close relationship, he had to go back to the states. So everything, you know, my director's cut was entirely remote, so that was challenging. That was hugely challenging. You find ways as everyone has had to do and adapt."
Due to the nature of the Venom films, visual effects are intrinsic to the character as opposed to just the action.
Serkis acknowledged that finishing the VFX for Let There Be Carnage was even more challenging since his team was "all in different places in the world:"
"Then, of course, all the visual effects work. The visual effects team is sprawling across the planet and the animators and the CG artists and the visual effects supervisor, producers, all in different places in the world. We just had to be disciplined about how we review the shots."
Venom 2's Release Date Doomed From the Start?
Warning - The following section contains spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
While it's impossible to know what would've been if the pandemic hadn't interfered, it certainly sounds like Let There Be Carnage would've been a different film than what audiences are seeing in theaters today if it had kept to its original release schedule.
What's even more interesting is how the film's jaw-dropping post-credits scene would've played then, since Spider-Man: No Way Home was originally set to release in July 2021. According to this timeline, audiences would've had multiversal Spidey-related footage nine months ahead of the anticipated threequel.
However, due to Serkis' claim about how unrealistic the film's original release schedule was, it's possible that the Venom sequel may have experienced delays anyway, particularly if visual effects were the reason.
While both Venom films have been critically panned, some fans have complained about the franchise's visuals, comparing them to '90s or early 2000s comic book film effects.
If the 2020 cut of Let There Be Carnage was equal to or less to what audiences saw in the original, that initial October 2020 release date may have been doomed from the start.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is playing now in theaters.