When it was announced that Sony’s Venom was going to be rated PG-13, there was something of a collective groan from longtime fans of the character. While he’s closely associated with Spider-Man, a property that appeals to everyone from kids to adults, the Venom character tends to skew older when on his own because of the subject matter covered in his mythos. Therefore, in the post-Logan and Deadpool world we now live in, there was hope that Venom would an R-Rated affair.
Alas, it wasn’t.
But that didn’t stop Venom from making a killing in its opening weekend, and now the film seems destined to spawn a franchise- which was Sony’s hope. This means we’ll get to see Tom Hardy back as Eddie Brock, hopefully building off of the dynamic he has with the Venom symbiote that even the film’s ardent detractors agree was the best part of the first film.
But there was also that wild tease they snuck into the middle of the film’s credits…
Folks who stuck around once the credits started to roll were treated to a delightfully unhinged appearance by Woody Harrelson, where he played Cletus Kasady- the maniac who we know goes on to become Carnage. The character is not exactly the cuddly, lovable type, and if folks thought Venom should be rated R, then they’re definitely going to want a film where he faces off against Carnage to be, too. The character is vicious, violent, and his backstory is all kinds of dark.
Yet, according to producer Avi Arad, they don’t feel any inherent pressure to make Venom 2 R-rated:
“When you hear ‘Carnage,’ the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there’s no R here. He’s a tortured soul. It’s not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation? Was he born like that, or it’s someone we should feel for, because if you are succeeding to make a villain someone you can feel for, jackpot.”
What I find more interesting here, way more so than the rating, is the way this reveals some of the film’s plot. Arad has just confirmed that Venom 2 will spend time fleshing out exactly who Carnage is, what he’s done, and why he is the way that it is. While that may seem obvious to some, the villain in Venom, played by Riz Ahmed, wasn’t given much of a backstory at all. Aside from you a few sparse lines of dialogue to flesh out his motivation, Ahmed’s Carlton Drake, aka Riot, was a total second fiddle. In fact, I don’t think we ever even saw him outside of the Life Foundation set.
Arad’s comments, on the other hand, imply that we’re going to get into the psyche of Kasady. He won’t just be the sequel’s generic baddie like Riot was. They want us to understand and invest in him, and it sounds like they’re going to flash back to earlier times as they build a portrait of the man who becomes Carnage.
How do you feel about this, as well as the probable PG-13 rating? Sound off below!