There's a better chance that Venom 2 could receive an R-rating now that Sony and Marvel Studios' Spider-Man deal is over. After making the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever with Spider-Man: Far From Home, the partnership between the two studios looks to have abruptly met its end. Marvel Studios and Kevin Feige will no longer be involved in creating Spider-Man movies for Sony, who's currently planning to make two more such films starring Tom Holland.
While the move came as a surprise, it also comes at a time when Sony is on a hot streak with their Marvel films. Far From Home was a huge hit and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won an Oscar, but their success really started with Tom Hardy's Venom. It was one of the biggest surprise box office hits last year and gave Sony confidence to move forward on a sequel and additional spinoffs, like Jared Leto's Morbius. When these spinoff plans were first revealed though, it was reported that Venom could start an R-rated Marvel universe for Sony.
Sony ultimately elected to make Venom PG-13 instead of R, but the reason behind it could allow the rating to change for Venom 2. According to Variety's Justin Kroll, the studio elected to go with a PG-13 rating for Venom with the hopes that it and other spinoffs could be added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future. But, now that the Marvel deal appears to be severed, it's possible they could now make Venom 2 an R-rated film.
At this point, Venom 2 getting an R-rating is far from a sure thing. On one hand, it appears that Sony favored the PG-13 version of Venom for the opportunity to potentially be part of the MCU - and might be why Kevin Feige reportedly had a hand in the film. They've now experienced the financial success that such a take can bring, so changing the rating and audience demographic could negatively impact Venom 2's box office potential. On the flip side, Sony may have gone with the R-rating originally if they weren't trying to adhere to Marvel and Disney's normal style. Hardy even has said he'd like Venom 2 to get an R-rating, and since he's helping write the script, he could make this possible.
Whether or not Venom 2 is R-rated could depend on a lot more than just the Sony-Marvel deal falling apart, but it does at least open up the door for the conversation to be had. Producer Avi Arad said that Venom 2 wouldn't receive an R-rating either, but that thought process could change if they don't have to think about whether or not Marvel Studios would allow this character into the MCU. Its also worth noting that Andy Serkis is now directing the movie, and it is unknown what his take on the symbiote anti-hero will look like. And, with the possibility of Carnage as the villain, there may be a need for Venom 2 to get the more mature rating. As development on the sequel continues, we'll hopefully get a better understanding of what the movie could be, and its eventual MPAA rating.
Source: Justin Kroll
- Morbius (2020) release date: Jul 31, 2020