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Tom Hardy attends the fan screening of "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" at Cineworld Leicester Square on September 14, 2021 in London, England.

Following the global success of Tom Hardy’s 2018 Venom flick, the sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, hits theaters this Friday, October 1.

In the new film about Marvel’s fearsome alien parasite, Hardy, 44, reprises his role as journalist Eddie Brock, who now finds himself sharing his body with the Venom, an otherworldly carnivore who has accepted the bargain of eating chickens and chocolate instead of humans.

Hardy told USA Today that their relationship is “100 percent an old married couple. It’s very clear cut that these two belong together. They can’t stand each other but they can’t be without each other.”

The second installment features Woody Harrelson as the new enemy as Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage. Michelle Williams returns as Eddie’s ex, while Naomie Harris plays Shriek.

Hardy’s 2018 Venom received a low 30% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but with an audience score of 81%. Making the first movie was a “baptism of fire,” Hardy says. Fans liked it, but “critics hated it,” he says, letting out a laugh. And Hardy says that he reads reviews, even the brutal ones. “Anybody who says they don’t read reviews … I lean on the side of suspicion,” he says. “I happen to fall in the camp of, I just like to know so maybe I can do something better.”

Hardy and screenwriter Kelly Marcel pitched the studio on their vision for a sequel (Hardy produces and also has a story credit this time around), which leans more heavily into the banter and witty delights nestled in the first film.

On the set, Hardy also voices Venom, acting against himself with an earpiece that pipes pre-recorded Venom lines into his ear. Marcel would often rewrite dialogue on the spot, transmitting fresh lines to Hardy through the same device.

“I don’t know quite how he does it,” says Marcel, who befriended Hardy 20 years ago doing pub theater together in the U.K. “He’ll come in to work in the morning and run the scene as both Eddie and Venom. Literally in front of your eyes, (he’s) switching from character to character and voice to voice. At full speed.”

Watch the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage below: