Venom

Venom Might Get PG-13 Rating, Cross Over With Spider-Man

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Despite director Ruben Fleischer’s assurance at SDCC that he was pushing for an R rating for his upcoming anti-superhero film Venom, Sony might have some different plans. IndieWire is reporting that sources close the studio have leaked to Variety that they might be seeking a PG-13 rating for the film, in order to leave the door open to a possible cross-over with Spider-Man one day.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Venom will be added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (which is probably a good thing, as I’m still holding onto a dream that Riz Ahmed will eventually join the world’s second biggest franchise). Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man, including version currently played by Tom Holland. Since we all know Holland will return from his brief brush with dusty death, it makes sense that Sony is already prepping a crossover between their famous hero and, of course, their hopefully popular anti-hero.

This of course is all resting on Venom finding success at the box office. Website Box Office Pro is tracking a 30-50 million opening weekend for the film, but cites a concern that rumors of the PG-13 rating might negatively impact the film’s reception among hardcore fans. If the film is truly a dud, Sony might shelve planned crossovers and sequels in favor of just focusing on the ever popular Spider-Man franchise, which saw renewed love with Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Both Deadpool and Logan saw box office success and critical acclaim despite family unfriendly ratings. However, if Sony wants Venom to eventually cross paths with everyone’s favorite neighborhood webslinger, they might be forced to tone down the character, which puts it at odds with the incredibly dark trailers that have been released. Venom is a character who doesn’t necessarily work well with his violence stripped away; look at Spider-Man 3, for example.

Also, if Venom is introduced in the Spider-canon, we then might have to bring him into the MCU, where he really wouldn’t work. Marvel saves the darker anti-heroes for Netflix rather than the screen, which embodies a hopefulness and heroic attitude. Venom, in all his anti-heroic glory, is literally being marketed at the anti-superhero film. The tagline on the trailer is “the world has enough superheroes.” There isn’t a good way to have him tangle with the world’s favorite teen hero without being a weird combination of tones and quality.

There is no official word yet on what Venom‘s rating will ultimately be. The rating probably will impact the box office, though whether positively or negatively remains to be seen. Hopefully, Sony will make a decision based on the quality of the film, rather than trying to tone it down just for the potential of a cross-over at some point in the future.

(Source: IndieWire; Image: Sony Pictures)

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Kate Gardner
Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.