Despite the previous reports claiming that Sony's Venom solo movie was going to have an R rating, many people were shocked to learn a couple weeks back that it had received an official rating of PG-13. However, according to the movie's star Tom Hardy, it doesn't look like the franchise will be permanently set on staying on the PG-13 level, and that he believes the future installments starting with Venom 2 are open to being R-rated.
Though a number of Marvel fans were noticeably displeased with this shocking rating change for Venom, Tom Hardy doesn't seem too concerned with the change. According to Hardy, he believes that this gory anti-hero movie can actually fit well into the molds of both PG-13 and R. Despite this, he still says he would love to explore more into the R rating with Venom and taking the franchise into a darker route. Here is Hardy's full statement on the matter.
"To be fair the thing could fulcrum into R-rated. It can fulcrum into for youth or children. My littlest ones they watch Spider-Man and Venom quite comfortably, and Venom toys appear and LEGO appear in my nostrils in the morning. So it's not like they're scared by him, but at the same time, there's a lot with the real estate that you can actually imbue with a complete sense of gratuitous ultraviolence if you really wanted to. And I think you've got the right people for that job if you want to push it because that's where I'd love to go with it. And I'd love to go through all the Avengers as well with him. But that's above my pay grade."
While Tom Hardy is certainly open to the future of the franchise having an R rating, it's quite possible that the higher-ups at Sony Pictures may not be. The primary theory about why Sony brought the graphic content of Venom from R down to PG-13 was that they were trying to keep the movie at the same level as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Venom is not officially part of the MCU, Sony is treating it like it is, having it unofficially co-align with the canon of the hit Marvel franchise, with hopes that one day they can do an actual crossover with the MCU. Moving Venom down to a PG-13 rating would theoretically increase their chances of a crossover, as it will fit better with Disney's standards.
Tom Hardy's interview with MTV certainly does raise some good points, but it isn't entirely necessary. While it would be certainly entertaining to see a possible Venom sequel receive an R-rating, having this violent anti-hero reach his true on-screen potential, the movies may be fine staying at the PG-13 level. Based on the trailers and clips we have received so far, it looks as though Venom will still be incredibly violent and entertaining, despite not being rated R. We may just have to wait and see how Venom turns out and if the duration of the movie is violent enough for audiences to fully appreciate. A sequel isn't even guaranteed at this point; it all depends on the box office and critical reception of Venom when it releases in theaters next week.