There has been much debate on the Venom franchise’s choice on a PG-13 rating. In the first film, the character chews off someone’s head and is no stranger to darker stories. Yet, they still went with the audience rating that draws in the most viewers. It wasn’t a surprise that the sequel would share the same rating, but it looks like it was on the table at some point in development for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Tom Hardy does confirm they’ve explored the potential of an R-rating. Yet, it seems they wanted to not limit their choices based on the comics, but rather focus strongly on what was right for the film’s overall tone.
100% we considered it. 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.Tom Hardy
He does go on to say that they wanted to stay true to Carnage as much as possible, highlighting the scene where he stuffs his tongue down one person’s throat.
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.Tom Hardy
The comment of wanting to watch a film titled Venom with grandma is quite a funny idea. Mine would already hit her limit with the whole gooey alien monster that takes over human bodies to kill strangers. Still, it’s great they are putting the film’s overall theme first instead of forcing a rating in. Director Andy Serkis does tease they also want to leave some moments to the viewer’s imagination. Logan and Deadpool proved the potential of an r-rated project, but not every director will feel comfortable with it. So, here’s hoping that Carnage remains true to his name throughout the film.