Andy Serkis to direct Tom Hardy in 'Venom 2'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Andy Serkis (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Andy Serkis is officially signed up to direct fellow Brit Tom Hardy in the sequel to smash hit Spider-Man spin-off Venom.

The actor, director and mo-cap pioneer confirmed the news on his Instagram page, after it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s actually happening. I can feel it, the Symbiote has found a host in me, and I’m ready for the ride,” he captioned. “Can’t wait! Are you ready @tomhardy?”

The first movie, which was directed by Zombieland helmsman Ruben Fleischer, took a bit of a battering at the hands of the critics.

Its gonzo style and Hardy's bizarre flights of weirdness as the reporter Eddie Brock who is consumed by an alien 'symbiote' to become anti-hero Venom, didn't sit right with everyone.

Read more: Spider-Man v Venom film will be ‘funny and scary’

But despite the critical panning (THR called it 'iredeemable' while The Guardian dubbed it 'fantastically boring') it did massive, unexpected business at the box office.

All told, it made $856 million worldwide, which made a sequel inevitable.

Tom Hardy in Venom (Credit: Sony)

Serkis, best known for his mo-cap appearances as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboots, is relatively new to directing, and this will be his first major blockbuster movie.

Peter Jackson gave him a job as second unit director on his Hobbit movies, before he went on to film his solo debut Breathe in 2017, a drama starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy.

He then directed Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle, adapted from Rudyard Kipling's stories – an all-star mo-cap extravaganza featuring performances from Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Peter Mullan, Jack Reynor and Serkis himself.

It was picked up by Netflix, but paled when compared to Disney's remake of The Jungle Book.

Andy Serkis (L) and Tom Hardy attend the pre-party for the English National Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' on December 15, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Venom 2, meanwhile, will have Tom Hardy back on board as Eddie Brock, and likely facing off against new enemy Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson.

Harrelson appeared as the jailed serial killer in Venom's post-credits sequence, setting him up for the sequel.

In the comic books, Kasady fuses with his own symbiote, to become the powerful villain Carnage.

Venom 2 is due for release in October, 2020.