I will be watching Ruben Fleischer's "Venom" on Wednesday, but that PG-13 rating hangs over it like inescapable roadkill. There's no doubt in my mind that the film deserved an R, an adaptation of Venom should not be rated PG-13. It does immense disservice to the comic book and its fans. The reason for this rating, as reported by Variety, was about the possible box-office damage that could come with an R-rated comic book flick. Sony did not go the “Logan” and “Deadpool” route here. They are playing it safe, folks. Fuck 'em.
This was clearly a decision that was made during shooting of the film as the cast/crew had originally said during production that an R-rating was the plan. Director Fleischer was even quoted in saying “That’s the plan ... that’s the movie. Our movie wants to honor the comics as close as we can tonally. In the comics, he bites people’s heads off and eats brains. It would be weird to make a movie with Venom if he wasn’t doing that. We tried to honor it as closely as possible. This is definitely a darker, more violent, more vicious Marvel character than I think anyone’s ever seen before.” [via ComicBook.com]
And yet, here we are, Fleischer seems to have changed his tune by telling comicbook.com this past week "We only ever talked about this movie as being PG-13. 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." Yup, two conflicting statements.
So is it any surprise that "Venom" lead Tom Hardy has been making the media rounds and backhandedly bashing Fox and Marvel? Take for example when he was asked by ComicsExplained "What was your favourite scene to film?" his reply: "Things that aren’t in this movie." He continued on "There are, like, 30 to 40 minutes' worth of scenes that aren’t in this movie... all of them. Mad puppeteering scenes, dark comedy scenes. You know what I mean? They just never made it in."
This movie is already veering towards a major backlash.