There were many Venom fans disgruntled by the PG-13 rating being given to Venom: Let There Be Carnage, as they had been hoping that this could be the movie to push the symbiote into R-rated territory. With James Gunn bringing blood and guts galore to The Suicide Squad, the introduction of Woody Harrelson as Carnage in the Venom sequel seemed to be the best chance of pushing the rating to a more adult level, but while the character is known for ripping people apart and eating heads in the comics, the red menace may not be quite as violent in this big screen outing. However, in a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Tom Hardy and Andy Serkis explained the thinking behind the decision and how there was consideration given to an R-rated version.
“100% we considered it,” Tom Hardy commented. “With all of these symbiotes, you know, you consider it. You read the comic books and it is extreme, but that’s not what we’re here to do. We came here to make a movie which, and correct me if I’m wrong, I mean, there’s a law and a rule into creating a movie that’s accessible to a lot of people, as well as that caters for everybody, including the hardcore fans. So I hope the hardcore fans at least take home that they look at Carnage and go, ‘Yeah, I recognize Carnage from the comic books. I’m happy with that.’ And yeah, no, we didn’t bite everybody’s head off, but we did stick a tongue down someone’s throat pretty… and managed to come in at a level of rating which is reputable so that grandma can come but also I’ll come watch it too.”
“Sometimes leaving things to the imagination is as powerful too,” Andy Serkis said, seemingly holding to that old school belief that less is more. “We pushed it as far as we could possibly go, but with some room to go in people’s heads. That character is pretty scary and the kind of the truth of where that character emanates from and Cletus Kasady is a character that is amplified through Carnage, does a lot of the work. So I think we certainly fulfill a lot of the essence of Carnage.”
While Venom as an R-rated movie could have done well, similar to the likes of Deadpool and Logan, there could be a closer to home reason why Sony were reluctant to break the family friendly barricade; Spider-man. There have been rumors for a number of months that there are going to be clear signs that the Sony Spider-Man Universe and the MCU are connected, and it appears that those connections will begin with the Venom sequel. For that reason, it would make sense for Sony to keep Venom PG-13 in preparation for the crossover that now seems like a certainty sometime in the future.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage has been jostled back and forth in the release schedule, but has finally settled on an October 1st exclusively theatrical debut. This news originated at ComicBook.com.