Despite Sony's promotion Venom, the Tom Hardy-led film based on Spider-Man's longtime nemesis, as a full-on action/horror affair, a new comment by one of the film's producers has us questioning whether the movie will be an R-rated release as it has been rumored.
In a recent article on Vulture running down the ins and outs of Sony's planned "Spider-Verse" slate of films, producer Avi Arad makes a comment that indicates the studio may have softened somewhat on its desire to follow in Deadpool and Logan's adult-rated footsteps.
"This is an origin story and we have to try and make it the beginning of a long journey," Arad told Vulture, explaining Sony's approach to the Spider-Man spinoff film. "Kids love Venom. It’s something about it that attracts the anti-hero sensibility. So we are very excited."
That doesn't exactly sound like Venom is going to be the blood-soaked, high-action horror fest the character's fans have been hoping for.
To be fair, an R-rating for Venom was never officially announced by Sony (though the studio hasn't denied the rumor, either). Even when Collider first reported the "adults only" rating was being considered for the project waaaay back in early 2017, it hedged its bets by making it clear that things can and often do change.
One reason the change may have taken place is Tom Holland's rumored appearance in the film. Though Spider-Man was originally, explicitly not a part of the movie's storyline, rumors have persisted in recent months that Holland may have filmed a scene for Venom after all. And while it makes perfect sense for Spidey to be involved in the origin story of his biggest foe in some manner, the idea of Marvel Studios or Sony signing off on the most kid-friendly superhero on the planet playing a role in an adult-themed horror movie just doesn't make a lot of sense. If the appearance, cameo or otherwise, turns out to be real, we should expect Venom to aim no higher than a PG-13 rating.
Of course, there's also the question of what Arad actually means by the word "kids." Though his background as the CEO of Toy Biz might lead one to believe he's referring to the pre-adolescent set, having targeted them in marketing for years, it's entirely possible he's talking about audiences in their mid-20s. Hell, I'm only in my mid-40s, and I'll readily admit to falling victim to the whole "get off my lawn" mentality when it comes to certain things that are popular with the younger set. Considering Arad is significantly older than me, it's likely his definition of "kids" is even broader than mine, in this instance at least.
Whatever the case, we can expect more details about Venom (possibly including its rating), as well as Sony's other Spider-Man related films, during the studio's Hall H presentation at Comic-Con International. The panel takes place on Friday, July 20 at 6:15 PM PT.