Good morning to everyone else who misread the headline as “Shrek” and whiplashed so hard they now have a serious medical condition. Alas, no, but we do have an update on Venom 2: According to Deadline, the follow-up to Sony’s surprise 2018 hit will include the Marvel villain Shriek alongside Woody Harrelson‘s monstrous Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage. Once again starring Tom Hardy as the goo-tastic duo of Eddie Brock and Venom, the sequel will see Andy Serkis taking over directing duties from Ruben Fleischer.
First popping up in Spider-Man Unlimited #1 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Lim, Shriek—real name Frances Louis Barrison—is a drug deal and occasional serial killer with the mutant ability to manipulate sound. The character is frequently shown as a romantic partner and crime colleague to Kasady, who has been the presumed main villain of the sequel since Harrelson showed up in the mid-credits of Venom sporting truly the most horrendous wig in the history of headgear.
According to the report, casting is underway for Shriek, with the studio looking far and wide for the character. “Right now the role is not filled, the net is cast wide toward many kinds of actresses,” a source told Deadline, noting that the filmmakers are mostly looking at unknowns.
Venom bit off a substantial portion of the box office when it debuted last year. Despite a shaky production and lukewarm reviews that didn’t recognize the genius of that lobster tank scene, the film stomped ahead to $856 million worldwide, guaranteeing a second chapter at Sony. Fleischer departed the project to helm Zombieland: Double Tap, handing the reins to Serkis after a long search. Word around town was that the MCU Spider-Man, Tom Holland, might be headed for a Venom sequel in the wake of Sony’s messy public split with Disney, but that’s anything but guaranteed now that the two studios have reconciled.