“Venom” has yet to be rated by the MPAA, which means director Ruben Fleischer’s comments at Comic-Con about pushing to make an R-rated superhero film might not be true in the end. A new report from Variety says it’s “unlikely” that “Venom” will be Sony’s first R-rated Marvel movie. Sources close to Sony told the publication that some executives are pushing for a hard PG-13 ratings since it will leave the door open for a crossover film with “Spider-Man” in the future.
While “Venom,” starring Tom Hardy in the title role, is not a title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man and can use Tom Holland’s iteration of the character as needed. Variety reports Holland’s “Spider-Man” will definitely not be making an appearance in “Venom,” but if the film is rated R it makes the possibility of Holland and Hardy sharing the screen in the future extremely limited. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was rated PG-13 and will always stick to a family-friendly vision.
Fleischer told Comicbook.com at Comic-Con that the plan was to make “Venom” an R-rated movie so that it could honor the character’s bloody comic book roots. “In the comics, he bites people’s heads off and eats brains,” the director said. “It would be weird to make a movie with Venom if he wasn’t doing that. We tried to honor it as closely as possible. This is definitely a darker, more violent, more vicious Marvel character than I think anyone’s ever seen before.”
Despite Fleischer’s comments, Variety reports the filmmaker and Hardy have been working hard to “inject humor into the story” to make it more accessible. Sony is opening “Venom” in theaters nationwide October 5, which means the MPAA will be weighing in sometime soon with the official rating. IndieWire has reached out to Sony for further comment.