Venom: Let There Be Carnage screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who developed the story with Tom Hardy, explains their intention to create a “batsh-t ride.”
Venom: Let There Be Carnage screenwriter Kelly Marcel explains how the film harnessed its short runtime to provide an “insane batsh-t ride.” The sequel, which comes three years after the release of the original Venom, opened in theaters last weekend. It stars Naomie Harris, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Stephen Graham, Reid Scott, and Tom Hardy as both reporter Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote Venom. Venom 2 has devoured the box office, grossing $100 million in the domestic market within five days.
Screenwriter Kelly Marcel developed the story of Venom 2 with Tom Hardy himself. It follows Eddie Brock and Venom, still going through growing pains. Eddie would very much like Venom to not rip off people’s heads and eat their brains, but Venom disagrees. When serial killer Cletus Kasady (Harrelson) bonds with his own symbiote, Carnage, and begins wreaking havoc around San Francisco, the bickering pair must resolve their differences and defend the city once again.
Speaking with Discussing Film, Marcel was asked how the film’s shorter runtime influenced her when developing the story of Venom 2 with Tom Hardy. She said they harnessed the film’s brevity (Venom 2 is 15 minutes shorter than the first film) to create “the most insane batsh-t ride you’ve ever been on.” She posits that they designed the script in a way where the movie couldn’t have been longer because it “goes like a freight train and I don’t know that you could sustain much more of that ride.” Read the full quote here:
Yes, [we made the decision to tell a more concise story and fit the roller coaster into that shorter run time.] Tom and I, right from the get, knew we just wanted this to be an epic ride from beginning to end. We wanted to leave you breathless at the end of it as if you had literally just been on a roller coaster and came thinking that was the most insane batsh-t ride you’ve ever been on. This movie goes like a freight train and I don’t know that you could sustain much more of that ride if you went longer.
It’s undeniable that Venom: Let There Be Carnage is one of the most fleet-footed superhero films in recent memory. The runtime allowed Marcel and Hardy to pare down the narrative to the essentials. The film is intent on focusing on the relationships between the characters rather than an expansive universe-building superhero epic. More than anything, it’s inspired by rom-coms in the way it presents Eddie and Venom’s fighting, eventually leading them down a path to draw them even closer together as a duo.
The “bickering couple” dynamic between Eddie and Venom is what separated the original film from a lot of its contemporaries and is a large part of its success. It would have been difficult to focus on that in Venom: Let There Be Carnage if there was too much extraneous world-building going on. Carnage himself is known for being a ruthless character in the comics, so including him on top of Eddie, Venom, and Shriek truly turned the movie into an ” insane batsh-t ride” as Marcel mentioned.
Source: Discussing Film
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