While I have my concerns about all the planned Spider-Man spin-offs in the works, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited about Venom, and that’s due in large part to Tom Hardy stepping into the role. He’s proven to be a flexible actor, and I wouldn’t put it past him to play both Venom and its human host, Eddie Brock, with aplomb. But while he will be playing the symbiote-powered anti-hero, it seemed likely at the outset that the character would be CGI-enhanced in some pretty significant ways.
Thanks to Gollum himself, Andy Serkis, we now have some confirmation that that performance will be motion-captured and not built from CGI wholesale.
Speaking to Yahoo! UK, Serkis happened to mention that Hardy “is playing a new character using performance capture.” With the nature of the character in mind and a look at Hardy’s upcoming films, and the fact that Venom has just gone into production, it seems like a given that Serkis is talking about that role in particular.
Venom was always going to be at least partly CGI – even the best actor couldn’t unhinge his jaw quite like Venom does. But that the character is apparently performance capture means that we should be able to see Hardy through the symbiote, both in his body language and facial expressions, the same way Mark Ruffalo’s performance comes through in the Hulk (especially in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok).
Performance capture has improved significantly in recent years, and has gone a long way toward making both movies and video games more immersive when making use of otherwise digital characters, letting them move believably both when we’re watching and when we’re playing as them.
With an actor like Hardy in the role, that seems to promise a great performance, if nothing else.
Venom is currently set to debut on October 5, 2018.