The future of the Spider-Man movie franchise was the subject of big new report, and of the many revelations to come out of the trade's analysis of the Sony's Spider-Man universe plans, was mention that Venom may not end up being the R-Rated superhero horror experience that a lot of Marvel fans are hoping for.
According to Variety, it's not likely that the film will garner the high rating, as Sony seems to think the movie should push the boundaries of PG-13 territory without moving into the R-rated realm. This will, in theory, give the studio more leeway for future installments featuring Spider-Man, which Venom doesn't do.
As Spider-Man is family-friendly, it carries a PG-13 rating, so if Venom is too dark for such a rating, it may prevent other film match-ups — not just with Spider-Man, but other facets of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well.
This revelation officially brings us to a major impasse. On the one hand, Marvel fans are expecting the Venom movie to be the dark antithesis to the Spider-Man franchise, and superhero films as a whole. On the other hand, a lot of fans also want there to be a future for Venom beyond his solo film franchise - including crossovers with Spider-Man, and ideally, more Marvel Comics characters. It sounds like getting both might be impossible, so the question now becomes: which goal to fans value more?
By now most of us know that the first goal of a superhero film should be establishing itself as a viable franchise. In the case of Venom, that means delivering a film that distinguishes itself from the genre - a feat that may still be possible under the banner of a hard PG-13, but would be all but guaranteed if Venom followed in Deadpool's footsteps. After all, the film features moments like Venom biting off a crook's head, which may leave fans feeling cheated, if the moment is edited down to fit a stricter rating.
The bigger issue here is why Sony is planning to possibly restrict the film's rating: for a future of Marvel movie crossovers that may never even come to pass - especially if a PG-13 Venom proves to be too tame and disappointing to become a major hit with fans. In fact, the report from Variety seems more like Sony begging to make some wishful thinking a reality, rather than actual plans that are in the works.
What do you think: should Venom bet on a future of bigger Marvel movie crossovers? Or should Sony just focus on making the best superhero/sci-fi/horror hybrid film that it can? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Venom hits theaters on October 5th.