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Venom is officially rated PG-13, despite R-rated expectations

Tom Hardy’s Venom may not be as violent as fans had hoped

Although many fans had been hoping for an R-rated Venom film, Sony’s official page for the upcoming Venom confirms that the movie is rated PG-13.

The managing editor of Fandango tweeted that the reason could be that Sony is still hoping Venom and Spider-Man might be able to square off at some point in the future — a scenario that would be more challenging, if not impossible, if Venom were released with an R rating.

Fans may point to the success of both Logan and the Deadpool franchise as evidence that R-rated superhero movies can be embraced by critics and bring in money at the box office. But those films’ producers were able to justify their ratings to 20th Century Fox with relatively small budgets for effects-heavy superhero movies, and stars that were willing to take less as a front-end payment for their work. And the filmmakers didn’t seem to be planning to link into the cinematic universes of their respective characters in any meaningful way.

Whatever the reason for Venom’s rating, plenty of films were able to pull off appropriately dark tones without going all the way to an R rating, including The Dark Knight. And there’s always the possibility of unrated and re-edited digital releases if enough harder-edged content is left on the cutting room floor.

Venom will be released on Oct. 5, a couple of months before Sony’s next big superhero movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.