Rising from the ashes of development limbo, Venom has quickly grown to include an impressive cast and crew, from stars Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams to director Ruben Fleischer. It will be the launching point for several films in #Sony's own continuity based on characters from the Spider-Man franchise.
Comic book legend Todd McFarlane, co-creator of Venom, has been pretty vocal about how his characters are treated on-screen, and he (like most fans) wishes to forget about the first attempt at bringing the symbiotic supervillain/antihero to life in Spider-Man 3. Back in 2009, McFarlane spoke with MTV about the failed portrayal:
"I would’ve done something more dramatic. [I also would’ve increased] the nastiness; I never cared too much about the comics code. I always pushed the envelope until the editor said ‘You’d better pull that back."
And it sounds like Venom will have exactly that R-rated tone.
The R-Rating Is A Necessity
Even though there are still many unknowns when it comes to the development of the film, one thing is for sure: fans are clinging to the hope that it will have a much darker tone, something that the Spider-Man franchise hasn't seen yet in any of the reboots.
Speaking at New York Comic Con, McFarlane had a few words to say about the direction he saw Sony taking:
"The only thing that's warming my heart — I mean Tom Hardy is obviously a good choice — the thing that's warming my heart is they're saying it's going to be R. So now the question is, and I haven't read the script, like what does that mean? Because again, we've seen a couple 'R movies' right? I mean we've seen Logan and we've seen Deadpool... So it would be interesting to me to see what they do. I mean I know what I would do if they gave me that character; I would scare the sh*t out of people with it. I don't know if they want to go that far with it, cause again, you can sell a lot of shirts and toys if you don't completely scare people, so it will be interesting."
Scaring "the sh*t out of people" may sound like fun, but McFarlane has a point: As dark and violent as Venom's backstory is, there's also a side of the character that has been notably lighter in tone over the years — going from outright supervillain to more antihero (much like everyone's favorite Merc with a Mouth).
How Venom Could Shape The Future Of Sony's Film Universe
This is where it gets really exciting, because if Venom captures the audience like how Logan and Deadpool did, it could go a long way towards developing more solo spinoffs. Over the years Venom has bonded with several other characters in the Spider-Man universe — Flash Thompson, Ann Weying, Lee Price, Mac Gurgan, Andi Benton, Gwen Stacey, Carol Danvers, Deadpool, Red Hulk, etc. — so there are a lot of possibilities for future films.
Venom is expected to introduce Carnage (potentially portrayed by Rogue One actor Riz Ahmed) as the symbiote's primary antagonist. Could we perhaps even see a Carnage movie someday?
With Venom set to portray the dark and violent side of Sony's new film universe, it may discourage parents from bringing kids who love Spidey, but the R-rated approach is really the only one that makes sense for the character.
Are you ready to see a dark, R-rated Venom on screen? Tell us what you think in the comments below!