There have been a variety of reasons as to why ‘Venom‘ ended up going the PG-13 route from a hopeful crossover with the Marvel Cinematic Universe to always being the plan depending on who you ask, and it looks like the sequel might be as well. The reasoning behind this came from producer Avi Arad who was asked how a film with a focus on Carnage could be PG-13 if they were keeping him accurate to the comics where we quickly saw that Arad has almost no real knowledge as to the character that they’ll be introducing. They can take any liberties that they want with Cletus Kasady, but in the comics, he is quite clearly a deranged serial killer with no moral center.
Arad sees him differently though when he shares that:
“When you hear Carnage, the only thing you can think of is R. But, if you know his story, if you really know the comic, there’s no R 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.”
Yes, I’m very curious to see how they want us to empathize with a villain who killed his own dog as a child with an electric drill. This is the same serial killer who had gone on murderous rampages just to get Spider-Man and Venom to come out and play when he was bored because of his constant thoughts of murdering and mutilating people in almost every one of his waking moments. I want to feel for the guy who pushed his grandmother down the stairs and killed every child in the orphanage he had been living in after letting his father be sentenced to death by the electric chair. It should be pointed out that his father was trying to save him after a failed attempt on his mother’s life and killing her dog had his mother try to kill him.
You know, he’s really just a nice guy that doesn’t have an R-Rated moment in his history.
This is just a drop in the bucket of examples that don’t revolve around some of his mass killings in either the “Maximum Carnage” storyline or the more recent events from “Carnage, USA” where in one scene he took over a family with his symbiote and had them kill the father.
I understand that you can tone down the character quite a bit and make him PG-13 but when you say that “if you really know the comic, there’s no R here” I have to question how well Arad knows the comic.
Do you agree with Avi Arad on the comic version of Carnage being able to fit into PG-13? Are you going to be disappointed with this serial killer being introduced on the big screen in ‘Venom 2’? Share your thoughts in the comments below, True Believers!