After a series of release date shifts, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is finally only a few weeks away. Earlier this month, Sony and Columbia Pictures’ symbiote sequel received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for “intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material, and suggestive references,” despite reports that an R rating was being considered for the follow-up.
In IGN’s Instagram Live interview with Andy Serkis on Tuesday, the Let There Be Carnage director explained how a PG-13 rating was necessary for the film to reach a larger audience. However, that imposition did not stop the filmmaker from focusing on the more disturbing elements of the story’s supervillain.
“You could go down an R-rated adult version of this. Of course you could,” Serkis explained. “You could have done that with the last film. But we wanted to reach a big audience with this and… there are several rules you have to abide by. However, having said that, I think we have pushed to the very limits [with] the danger and darkness and the threat and the menace of Carnage.”
Serkis elaborated on his approach, explaining that on-screen violence can be much more than buckets of blood.
“Just because you don’t see so much gore — perhaps there’s not so much blood or… seeing heads being bitten off — you can still suggest that,” Serkis continued. “The suggestion, leaving it to the audience’s imagination, can be just as powerful. I think that’s just what we managed to do. It’s certainly not shying away from the darkness. And the real heart of Carnage as a character isn’t compromised at all.”
After being delayed multiple times throughout the pandemic, Venom: Let There Be Carnage was most recently moved up two weeks on Sony’s release calendar. The sequel will hit theaters on October 1.
In our review of the first Venom, IGN gave the film a 4, saying that “Tom Hardy’s committed performance can’t overcome a painful script and indecisive direction.”
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.