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The rating for the upcoming comic book movie Venom has been an interesting discussion among fans for the last year as the film has made its way through production. While there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of the project being R-rated (following in the footsteps of Deadpool and Logan) Sony has failed to confirm the adult-oriented rating. Now we know for sure that the blockbuster is definitely going to be PG-13 - and if rumors are true, it's basically all Spider-Man's fault.
With the film now just a few weeks away from release, Venom was given the more moderate rating from the MPAA - and Fandango's Erik Davis claims to have inside info regarding why the call was made. According to Davis, the reason why an R-rating was avoided is because the studio wants to keep the possibility open that there could eventually be a meet-up between Venom and Spider-Man - and there's no way that particular project would ever be for adults-only. Rather than thinking about potentially censoring the alien symbiote at some point down the line, the studio is committing to making Venom a PG-13 character now.
There are surely some fans who are going to be upset by this, as a no-holds-barred Venom movie could have been very cool - but at the same time it's not all that surprising. Not only did we first hear about the possibility of this more family-friendly approach back in early August, but it's not as though the film has been specially advertised as an R-rated adventure. Usually more adult-oriented blockbusters are specially marketed that way, namely with the release of red-band trailers, but all of the material that we've seen cut for Venom has been for all audiences. Sure, there's a lot of talk about eating people and turds in the wind, but there also hasn't been any excessive blood shown or any obscene/foul language.
So will this result in what feels like a neutered Venom movie? That's certainly a valid concern, but we know the full extent of things for another few weeks. Obviously it would have been nice if certain creative decisions weren't being dictated by shaky possibilities of a franchise future - especially knowing that we will eventually see Deadpool crossover with the X-Men, for example - but that's just a classic Hollywood move. All we can really do is cross our fingers and pray to the movie gods that everything winds up working out for the best.
Venom, directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, and Woody Harrelson, will be in theaters on October 5th - and we'll have plenty more coverage about the film coming your way between now and then.