Though the most recent Venom trailer has some gruesome moments, it looks like the film will ultimately be family-friendly if Sony higher-ups have their way.
According to Variety, Venom is unlikely to become Sony’s first R-rated Marvel feature. Instead, Sony brass are looking to push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating in order to avoid a 17 and older restriction.
With the recent success of R-rated comic book movies such as Deadpool and Logan, many had expected that Sony would follow suit with Venom, seeing as how the title character is one of the Spider-Man comics’ darker customers. However, the studio is reportedly going with a PG-13 rating in order to maintain a family-friendly tone through future Spider-Man spin-offs (Sony’s current licensing deal with Marvel gives the studio access to roughly 900 characters).
Venom’s lack of an R-rating is sure to upset some fans who were hoping for a gruesomely violent antihero film, but previous PG-13 releases such as The Dark Knight and even Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (heck, basically every Batman movie) have proven that you can still have a darker theme and tone without heading in to R-rated territory. Hopefully director Ruben Fleischer and star Tom Hardy can pull something similar off with Venom.