There has been much discussion over Venom’s rating in the months and weeks leading up to its release.
Previous comments from both its director Ruben Fleischer and its leading man Tom Hardy had led many to predict that it would actually be rated R.
Especially considering the critical and financial success that “Deadpool” and “Logan” achieved with this rating, while , most importantly, Venom’s penchant for eating people’s heads and being an all-round deviant meant the film was perfectly suited to be excessively violent and obscene.
So during my recent interview with Fleischer I need to know exactly why “Venom” was ultimately rated PG-13.
“We did always intend for it to be a PG-13 movie,” he insisted. “I always said I wanted us to push it as far as we could. But in the context of a PG-13 movie.”
“For me ‘The Dark Knight’ was always a reference point. I feel like they didn’t sacrifice anything with their tone. It is as intense and violent as you could hope a Batman film will be.”
“I used that as a reference point for taking ‘Venom’ as far as we could. But there is a huge audience for ‘Venom’ from all ages.”
“I wanted to make sure that I didn’t exclude anyone from the group.”
“Because one of the biggest fan groups for ‘Venom’ is younger kids, who see him as a forbidden fruit. So we didn’t want to exclude them from seeing the movie.”
Fleischer insists that there is only one big difference between what an R-rated version of “Venom” would have looked like and the released version.
“The only real thing between our movie and an R-rated movie would be blood. That is something you can’t have in PG-13 movies.”
“I don’t think you sacrifice anything by not having it. I don’t think the movie would be any better if every time he bit someone’s head off there would be a blood gush.”
I then pointed out to Fleischer that the sight of watching Venom biting someone’s head off on-screen and then seeing their decapitated corpse might have been a step too far for viewers, who might then have lost sympathy for the symbiote and Eddie Brock.
“I agree,” admitted Fleischer. “It has to be entertaining at the end of the day.”
“Venom” is in cinemas on October 5.