With tickets for director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom now on sale, the runtime and the rating for the film has been revealed and it’s 1 hr 52 minutes… and PG-13 – which should surprise no one. If Sony was going to pursue the R-rating for the anti-hero, they would have announced it when the film was being shot, the same way Deadpool did during production. Even though some held out hope we’d get a super violent and dark Venom movie for adults, I never believed that was happening for two reasons: Spider-Man and Marvel.
While Venom is going to exist outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that doesn’t mean he’s going to stay there forever. At some point, the Sony/Marvel deal that allows Spider-Man and the other members of the MCU to interact in each other’s movies might go away. If that were to happen, Sony would absolutely feature Venom and Spider-Man in a movie together and they’d make it happen as soon as a script was written.
The other reason to keep Venom PG-13 is to allow the option of bringing him into the MCU. While I haven’t heard Marvel wants that to happen, for Sony, why limit your options? The fact is you can’t create an ultra-violent, R-rated Venom and then bring him into the MCU alongside, say, Ant-Man or the other Marvel characters. Making that kind of Venom movie limits your options down the road, and when you think long term, PG-13 is the only option for the studio. In addition, with Venom being PG-13, it’s a safe bet that every other film in the Spider-Man cinematic universe is also aiming for the kid-friendly rating.
While I’m sure this PG-13 rating is going to get plenty of Marvel fans debating what it means, I don’t think the rating really matters. I’ve seen plenty of PG-13 films that push the boundaries of what they can get away with on screen (The Dark Knight pencil scene, for example,) and I’ve also seen a ton of R-rated movies that should have been PG-13 (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and every movie with just two curse words). All I care about is if Venom is any good. Because if the movie kicks ass, the only thing people will be talking about on October 5th is when Sony will release the sequel.
Written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, and Kelly Marcel and Will Beal, Venom opens October 5th and also stars Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, and Reid Scott.
Here’s the official logline for Venom:
One of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award-nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.
Take a look at our recent write-ups regarding Venom below and let me know what you think about the rating in the comment section.