A new report indicates that Sony is looking to use its (opens in new tab) as a launchpad into its own Marvel universe separate from Disney’s, and they’re apparently looking to draw a distinction between the two by giving Venom an R rating.
(opens in new tab) classifies the upcoming film as “Action/Horror/Sci-Fi,” and that “horror” element sounds like they could be giving fans the dark, gory Venom movie they’ve been wanting for years. Meanwhile, (opens in new tab) brings word that the studio currently intends for the movie to be rated R, which would certainly make that “horror” description mean a hell of a lot more to diehard fans. Any movie buff can tell you a PG-13 horror film just isn’t the same as an R-rated one. Plus, the recent success of R-rated superhero films like Deadpool and Logan must be a good sign in Sony’s eyes, so it makes sense that they’d be approaching their movie in a way that wants to tap into the same fans who paid to see those films in theaters.
The site also indicates that Sony wants Venom to kickstart the studio’s own cinematic universe, which would likely include (opens in new tab). But here’s where things get dicey: Spider-Man probably wouldn’t show up in these movies, because Sony has a deal with Disney that Tom Holland’s new web-slinger will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that everyone’s already familiar with. So the challenge for Sony, then, is creating an entirely separate universe on screen that features Marvel characters to which they still hold the license (any Spider-Man villain, for example), and making sure audiences don’t go in expecting Spidey to show up at some point. That sounds like an extremely difficult task, but that’s why these creative execs get paid the big bucks. And keep in mind the fact that this entire plan could change the minute they hire a director for either of these developing projects, because one person’s clear vision might be all they need to either scrap their plan altogether or graft it onto someone else’s idea to form some new combination of concepts we haven’t even considered yet.
Now that we know the sci-fi film (opens in new tab) to Venom in any way, we’ll wait and see if the studio follows through with this plan or if they shift directions by the time it moves into production.
Venom swings into theaters on October 5, 2018.
Images: Sony Pictures