Venom: Let There Be Carnage reworks its antihero’s voice in a series of pertinent alterations from the first movie – but why? Let’s take a look.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage has revamped Venom’s voice – but why did it change? After a not-so-successful debut on the big screen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, Venom got a second chance to cut his teeth in the 2018 self-titled movie, with Ruben Fleischer’s zany take on the symbiote scoring a big hit with audiences. Tom Hardy is central to the Venom franchise’s success, whose portrayal of a man seduced by the symbiotic life continuing to garner high praise despite Venom: Let There Be Carnage‘s mixed critical consensus.
Tom Hardy provides the voice for his CGI counterpart Venom, an unsurprising decision considering he has become known for his different (and at times strange) vocal decisions. Venom’s guttural tones hinted at a dark Marvel Venom adaptation before Venom 2018’s release, leaving many audiences disappointed with the decidedly upbeat and, at times, nonsensical tone of the film.
Therefore, Tom Hardy’s Venom vocal changes in Let There Be Carnage are born from a desire to match the symbiote’s voice with the film’s lighter narrative timbre. In Venom, the symbiote’s voice is deeper and more guttural, adding a menacing tone to the character, while in Let There Be Carnage, his tone is decidedly lively in comparison. Let There Be Carnage‘s sound team worked tirelessly to affect this change for Venom 2, with Hardy also re-evaluating how his titular antihero should sound to Venom’s primarily PG-13 audiences.
Venom was a box office hit but wasn’t well-received by critics, who took issue with the movie’s sense of humor after being left feeling deceived by the idea of a dark, almost horror-like story that arose from Venom‘s initial previews. However, Sony has clearly learned from this experience leaning into the zany elements that made Venom such a hit with audiences. Venom’s voice is suitably altered for Venom 2, taking on a much lighter tone to better embrace the comical, odd-couple dynamic between Eddie Brock and Venom. In this way, Venom’s voice change also acts as a mirror for how he should be viewed in the Sony-verse; more of a “good guy” who presents an antiheroic protagonist.
As a result, Hardy has since stated his given remit that Venom’s new voice should be less villainous and in keeping with the slapstick elements that Let There Be Carnage runs with. The Dark Knight Rises actor describes Venom’s new vocals as “That kind of bombastic, playful, like dark, witty, clever, you know, honest, but with a power familiar friendly sound which is palatable,” which further plays into Venom 2‘s comedic strategy. The overt changes in Venom’s voice are created by vocal layering, with Let There Be Carnage‘s scene sound technicians laying down a garbled vocal over Hardy’s lines before refining the sound in post-production. Additionally, Hardy often wore an earpiece while filming Let There Be Carnage‘s CGI-heavy scenes to capture the correct tone for Venom’s voice. Ultimately, Let There Be Carnage‘s success will be judged on more tangible yardsticks like box office revenue and critical reception, but Venom’s vocal updates to match Venom 2‘s tone are a welcome update nonetheless.
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