Sony is reportedly targeting a PG-13 rating for Venom, rather than an R. In just a couple of months, the studio will unveil the first of their planned films featuring their stable of Spider-Man characters. While Peter Parker himself helps shepherd the Marvel Cinematic Universe into Phase 4, Sony is going through the wall-crawler's rogues gallery to produce various spinoffs. In addition to Venom, they're also developing movies for Morbius and Kraven the Hunter - among others.
Ever since Venom was announced, one of the biggest questions surrounding it is its connection to the MCU. Eddie Brock, of course, is one of Spider-Man's most famous antagonists, so it would be surprising if they never crossed paths onscreen. It's already been confirmed Venom will act as a standalone film and not have any explicit ties to the larger shared universe Marvel Studios has put together, but that doesn't mean the higher-ups at the studio aren't thinking about such a possibility down the line.
In Variety's extensive report on Venom and the future of Sony's Marvel films, it's stated the studio feels Venom should "push the very limits" of PG-13 without skirting into R-rated territory. In theory, this would make it easier for Tom Hardy's Venom to crossover with Tom Holland's Spider-Man and the rest of the MCU - as those films fit neatly into the four-quadrant confines of PG-13. This shouldn't be taken as confirmation Venom will be integrated into the MCU, but it sounds like that's a possibility of this fall's film is successful.
While viewers would be excited to see Venom battle Spider-Man, this news is likely to displease a few fans. Some were hoping for Venom to be a bit more adult-orientated, especially after Deadpool and Logan proved there was a viable market for R-rated superhero films. Plus, the new Venom trailer included two moments where the title character explained how he was going to eat his victims alive. It would be a shame if the final product offered a watered down version of that, eschewing horror-influenced violence and gore in favor of something with more mainstream appeal. Of course, there's always a chance it could be executed effectively, but Sony has attempted to interfere with Marvel movies before, and the results weren't great. Hopefully, Venom isn't another Spider-Man 3 or Amazing Spider-Man situation.
It is worth pointing out that Venom has not been officially rated by the MPAA, and there were rumors last year the film would be rated R. Granted, those plans could have changed over the course of development, so it remains to be seen what will happen. The biggest priority for Sony, however, is making sure Venom is a good movie and connects with audiences. It won't matter if it's PG-13 or R if the film is widely panned and fails to launch a new franchise.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018