Tom Hardy breaks his silence on “Venom’s” much-debated PG-13 rating in a video interview with MTV (via The Playlist). The actor joined co-star Riz Ahmed for the sit-down and tried to explain why a PG-13 movie centered around his famous villain isn’t a cause for concern. Many fans expected “Venom” to earn an R rating given director Ruben Fleischer’s teases that the movie is the “most violent” Marvel release to date.
“To be fair, the [‘Venom’ property] can fulcrum into R-Rated and fulcrum into youth or children,” Hardy said. “My littlest ones, they watch Spider-Man and Venom quite comfortably and Venom toys appear and LEGO appear. So it’s not like they’re scared by him, and at the same time there’s a lot in the real estate that you can actually imbue with a complete sense of gratuitous ultra-violence if you really wanted to, and I think you’ve got the right people for that job if you want to push it, ‘cause that’s where I’d love to go with it.”
Hardy’s comment tries to argue that “Venom” can skew both younger and older, but it’s hard not to read his “gratuitous ultra-violence” line as proof that he was ultimately hoping Sony would let his tentpole movie go with a hard R. The blockbuster success of the R-rated “Deadpool” franchise seemed like it would inspire confidence at Sony to release “Venom” with the restricted rating, but the studio ended up going with a PG-13.
Sources told Variety in August that Sony wanted a PG-13 rating on “Venom” in order to leave the door open for a potential future crossover with Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While “Venom” is the first movie in a Sony-backed superhero universe, the studio shares Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man with Disney. When asked about entering the MCU, Ahmed joked that a Venom/Avengers crossover would result in the villain trying to eat the Hulk. More seriously, Hardy said he’s not viewing joining the MCU as an essential step.
“If [we don’t crossover], we’re more than happy to stand alone,” Hardy said. “We have a Venom-verse and 900 characters to play with.”
Sony releases “Venom” nationwide October 5. Watch Hardy and Ahmed’s MTV video interview below.