Among the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic deprived us of were action-driven, CGI-fueled blockbuster movies. Some might think that was a good thing. But a big amount of moviegoers surely missed having their senses assaulted by digital effects and booming sound with an audience of fellow spectators at the movies.

As the culture opens up with vaccinations increasing, we still probably won’t have a summer movie season this year as people get comfortable with the idea of sharing an enclosed theater with others. But studios are hoping we get closer to normal by July when F9 (Fast & Furious 9) Marvel’s Black Widow will be available.

By September, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be one of the big releases ready if audiences are ready to return in big numbers. The trailer for the sequel to 2018’s Venom was released on Monday, promising much more from the alien fanged and tentacled Spider-Man villain. (Spider-Man himself has not appeared in these movies, however.)

Check out the trailer for the upcoming Marvel-associated (but not Marvel Studios) release:

Joining Tom Hardy in the fun this time around will be Woody Harrelson. That should make for some memorable scenes between the two stars. As he’s shown in War For the Planet of the Apes and Out of the Furnace, Harrelson can play a bad guy so well. (He’s done the anti-hero thing well in two Zombieland films, as well.)

Yet when their alien symbiote alter-egos take over, it will be CGI creature vs. CGI creature on screen. That doesn’t often make for compelling action, as the first Venom movie demonstrated, with combatants moving at high speeds in dimly-lit settings with tentacles whipping everywhere and massive jaws jammed full with razor-sharp teeth are roaring.

Godzilla vs. Kong showed that clashes between digital creatures can be made well. But there was great attention to detail with those pop culture icons. And the human characters have been afterthoughts in these giant monster movies. That won’t be the case in Venom: There Will Be Carnage with acclaimed actors like Hardy, Harrelson, and Michelle Williams on the job. And with motion-capture expert Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes) directing, maybe the action will be more coherent.

As the trailer makes clear, a major aspect of the story will be the “buddy” relationship between Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote living in his body. That comedy will probably have to carry the narrative until the action picks up toward the last third of the film. Hopefully, all of the funniest bits weren’t already revealed.

Venom: There Will Be Carnage is set for a Sept. 24 release — in theaters only, as the trailer declares.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.