Venom: Let There Be Carnage Is Officially Rated PG-13, Only Allowing For A Little Carnage

When "Venom" was released back in 2018, it became a box office behemoth. Despite the silliness on display (or perhaps because of it), the Marvel Comics movie starring Tom Hardy raked in over $856 million worldwide. A big part of that success was the fact that "Venom" came with a PG-13 rating, letting many younger kids see the movie, despite the fact that Venom was one of the more violent villains from the pages of Spider-Man comics. However, some fans were hoping that Sony Pictures might get a little more edgy with the sequel, especially since the notoriously gruesome villain Carnage would be debuting. Unfortunately, it appears Sony Pictures enjoys money more than maniacal murder, because "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" didn't land the R-rating that some were hoping to see.

Let There Be Disturbing Material has revealed that the Motion Picture Association of America gave "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" a PG-13 rating due to "intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references." That means when Woody Harrelson becomes the grisly villain known as Carnage, he won't be quite so violent. However, it should be noted that the original "Venom" was rated PG-13 for "for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for language." So maybe Carnage will be a little more nasty than we're expecting. Then again, it's possible the "disturbing material" is just that terrible haircut Cletus Kasady will have.

Honestly, it's a little disappointing that we won't get to see Carnage released to his full, spine-chilling potential. But back when the first "Venom" first teased the villain's introduction in the presumed sequel, producer Avi Arad didn't think an R-rating would be necessary. In an interview with Collider back in 2018, the producer said:

"When you hear Carnage, the only thing you can think of is [an R-rated movie]. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there's no [R-rating] here. He's a tortured soul. It's not about what he does, because we never have to show the knife going from here to there, and the blood is pouring. What you have to show is, what is the motivation? Was he born like that, or [is he] someone we should feel for, because if you succeeding in making a villain someone you can feel for, jackpot."

Is it just me, or does it sound like Arad doesn't really know anything about Carnage?

Carnage is Not a Sympathetic Villain

Anyone who has actually read a comic book featuring Carnage will tell you that this is not a villain you should feel sorry for in the least. Cletus Kasady killed his dog with an electric drill when he was a kid. He murdered someone he picked out of a phone book because they had a silly name. This guy turned his psychiatrist into a cannibal. Carnage even threw a baby out a window. Is this really a villain that you want to understand and feel for?

Let's not forget that Cletus Kasady is thinking about murdering people all the time, as this page from Marvel Comics illustrates in a rather unsettling manner:

We're not sure what comics Avi Arad was reading, but there's clearly an R-rating in Carnage's history in Marvel Comics. However, I will agree that the extreme violence doesn't necessarily need to be shown in great detail in order to portray Carnage and Cletus Kasady as complete monsters. Plenty of movies have created unsavory villains without heading into R-rated territory. It's not necessarily as entertaining as it otherwise might be, especially for the horror fans out there, but it can be pulled off. Plus, there's a chance Carnage/Cletus Kasady won't be quite so ruthless in the movie, and maybe he has a backstory that isn't quite so evil. We'll find out soon enough.

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" was previously slated for a September release but has been rescheduled to hit theaters on October 15, 2021.