Sony’s Venom is about to hit the theatres next month. The film was earlier speculated to be an R-rated film but now, the film’s executive producers along with the director, revealed that Venom was always intended to be appropriate for a PG-13 audience.
Executive Producers Matt Tolmach and Avi Arad along with director Rueben Fleischer revealed this while talking to Comicbook.com recently. The movie does contain dark, intense scenes and a heavy dose of crude langue but the filmmakers moved away from an R-rating as it could discourage families from the theatres.
“To me, R is not a consideration,” Arad said. “Can you get away with not R so that other people can see? So that younger people can see? I made an animated show. There was a lot of Venom in there. It was in ’94. There’s no reason to put in violence. To define what Venom is as violence. He’s not. He’s the lethal protector, which is a very different thing. We want to be really true to the comics. Today, in CGI and stuff, we can make Venom bite your head. But we don’t have to show the head going side to side like, ‘that actually tastes good.’ It’s irrelevant. What’s relevant is that you finally understood, is that a bad guy? Yeah.”
No matter what fans believe as rumours sweep across social media, there never was and never will be a heavily violent version of the film. “There isn’t some phantom version of the movie,” Tolmach explained. “Everyone is asking us that. Is there an R-rated cut sitting there? There isn’t. We came into this production and the development of the movie wanting to make a movie that was true to Venom, true to the comics, and true to the character, but at the same time is a movie that 13-year-olds, 14-year-olds can see. We had to push right up against it. We’re 15+ in England. It’s not like we just wanted to make a family film. We wanted to push it as hard as we could, but also to make it accessible. That was always the goal.”
Even director Rueben Fleischer gave the same message, citing inspiration from one of the most known comic book films in history. “We only ever talked about this movie as being PG13,” Fleischer said. “What I’ve said in the past is that we wanted to push the violence to the hilt. The Dark Knight was always a huge reference point for me, personally, just as far as how far you could take a PG-13 because that movie they put a pen through a guy’s forehead so I figure if you can do that in a PG-13 movie you can bite some heads off.”
Finally, Fleischer stands firmly by the film he made within the PG-13 parameters. ”