Ruben Fleischer, director on the highly anticipated Venom movie, will not rule out releasing an unrated edition of the film for home video viewing. This statement comes in the wake of the announcement that Venom's theatrical release was given a PG-13 rating in the United States, after intense pressure from Sony for a lower rating. This flew in the face of Fleischer's intentions of creating a "darker, grittier, kind of edgier comic book movie that also has a strong horror element."
Known as the Lethal Protector in the world of Marvel Comics, Venom is a far more disturbing character than one would expect to come out of the relatively wholesome Spider-Man comics. Venom was formed when an alien symbiote once bonded to and rejected by Spider-Man attached itself to Eddie Brock - a reporter who was disgraced when his report on the identity of a wanted serial killer was proven false after Spider-Man captured the real criminal. Armed with the symbiote's knowledge of Spider-Man's secret identity and the ability to shape-shift and replicate all of Spider-Man's powers, Brock attempted to kill Peter Parker in order to avenge himself and the symbiote. Later, Brock's better nature was able to assert control of his other half and he turned toward using his powers to protect the innocent, though he still harbored a grudge against Spider-Man and was not above killing the criminals he fought.
Fleischer discussed the possibility of an unrated edition of Venom being released for home viewing during an interview with Fandango. Fleischer also spoke about his love of the character, Venom's history in the comics and how rapper Eminem (reportedly a big fan of the Lethal Protector) had approached Sony about providing a song for the movie's soundtrack. Fleischer said of the unrated cut: "I wouldn't rule anything out. We'll have to see where it lands, I guess, but I wouldn't rule anything out."
Releasing an unrated cut of Venom would seem to be a wise course of action for Sony. The announcement that the theatrical cut of the movie had earned a PG-13 rating angered many fans of the character from the comics, who were not pleased by the muted version of the character that appeared in Spider-Man 3. They had hoped that the new Venom movie would be closer in tone to the original comics, with Venom portrayed in all of his spleen-eating glory. In fact, some fans are now swearing off seeing the highly anticipated film because of its more family-friendly rating.
While it is only natural for Sony to want to make the film as widely available as possible to reach a larger audience, the character of Venom demands the same mature treatment that Deadpool and Wolverine saw in Deadpool 2 and Logan. The decision to push for a PG-13 rating seems completely counterintuitive to Fleischer's stated intention of creating a Venom movie that truly explores the body-horror elements inherent to the character concept. Hopefully Fleischer's original vision will be available for viewing, if only because of Sony's desire to profit as much as possible from their latest franchise.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018