(There are Venom spoilers ahead for what it’s worth.)
Hey, everybody, we’re probably going to get a lot more Venom in our future! I’ll admit, I’ve never been this excited for a sequel to a movie I thought was bad in my entire life. I honestly cannot wait. It’s funny, after the movie I joked to friends about the ridiculous mid-credit scene, how Woody Harrelson shows up to tease a movie that will never happen. I was wrong! It’s pretty evident that this movie will happen! I thought that the end of the movie tease would sit in the dustbin of film history alongside Airplane III, Buckaroo Banzai Against The World Crime League, and whatever that Sinister Six movie was going to be that was teased at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
(So at the end of Airplane II: The Sequel there’s a quick graphic that teases that Airplane III would be coming soon. Now back before the internet things like that would drive me nuts because as a little kid there was really no way of knowing what happened to Airplane III. Did I just miss it? Look, it says it right there in the credits plain as day, so where’s my Airplane III?!)
Anyway, my point is I think Venom is an objectively bad movie, but at the same time I am super excited to watch Tom Hardy flop around, eat tater tots, and say weird things. Venom, though bad, was one of my favorite movie-watching experiences of the year so far. When the social media embargo lifted on Venom I tweeted out basically that the movie was so bad it’s great, that Tom Hardy isn’t in the same movie as anyone else, and that Hardy’s Eddie Brock and Venom have a scene where they make out. This tweet got a lot of responses, but since the movie has come out in theaters I’ve gotten a good amount of, “You were right” tweets. I only mention this because this never happens on Twitter.
So, the worst parts of Venom are basically the plot and most of everything that’s scripted. The entire cast of Venom is stuck in a bad movie while, somehow, Tom Hardy is in a good movie. I’m not sure there’s another example of this that’s so clear-cut like this. Yes, actors have given great performances in bad movies, but Hardy essentially just makes up his own movie as he goes. It’s almost like he could tell Venom was going to be a dud and took things into his own hands. It’s like LeBron’s last year with Cleveland. Basically, “Yes, we are still going to lose, but no one can say I didn’t do everything I could to save this thing.” Hardy, it seems, stopped listening to his coach, took the ball and put on a massive performance. (And when you look at Venom’s box office from the weekend, heck, maybe Hardy did win.)
So with all that in mind, here’s my crazy idea: Just let Tom Hardy direct Venom 2. (Or Venom: Here We Go Again or Venom: Havana Nights or whatever it’s going to be called). There’s doesn’t even have to be a script. Just follow Tom Hardy around San Francisco as he “does things.” Maybe he’ll want to spontaneously jump in another lobster tank? Maybe he will cause a scene in a restaurant? We don’t know! That’s the great thing. At this point, no one will ever be able to convince me that if a camera followed Hardy around for six weeks as he’s in characters as Eddie Brock and Venom that there wouldn’t be enough footage to put a movie together – then just add in the effects later. I swear you can’t convince me this wouldn’t be entertaining.
Yeah, sure, Woody Harrelson would probably be confused at first. “Where’s my script? What do you mean I’m supposed to just start chasing Tom around?” But even that could be fun! Let’s imagine Venom wants some tater tots, so Eddie and Venom sprint into a Whole Foods looking for Tater Tots. But, to their dismay, the only thing they can find are “cauliflower and broccoli tots.” Could you imagine Venom’s reaction? He’d be so mad! Then Woody Harrelson shows up and says, “Are you ready for some … CARNAGE?!” and then starts throwing cauliflower and broccoli tots at poor Venom. (Also, for the whole movie that’d Harrelson’s only line. He just keeps repeating, “Are you ready for some Carnage?!” over and over again.)
I’m convinced this wreck of a movie I just described would make more money than Venom just did because nothing matters anymore. But as long as nothing matters, let Tom Hardy do this. Let Tom Hardy fully be the Venom he wants to be. Let Tom Hardy do this both for himself, but also for us.
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.