According to a new report via our friends at Collider, Sony's Venom movie (which we recently learned is being fast-tracked for a 2018 arrival in theaters) will be rated R, and is intended to launch a separate "Sony Marvel Universe".
Here's what they're saying:
Scripted by Dante Harper (Alien: Covenant) and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach, we’re hearing that Sony is developing Venom not only as the film to launch their own Marvel Universe, but as an R-rated effort.
Keep in mind that this is the plan we’re hearing about at the moment and that things could still change between now and late 2018—especially once a director signs on and has his or her own vision—but it’s certainly an interesting approach to building Sony’s Marvel Universe.
OK, let's start with the R-rated thing: one the one hand, my instinct is to say that Sony's learning the wrong lessons from Fox's recent success with Deadpool and Logan. On the other hand, if you're gonna leave Spider-Man out of it and take a sci-fi/horror approach to the film (which is allegedly the plan), then an R-rated Venom makes some sense. Put simply: few people want a Venom movie to begin with; even fewer want a toothless, PG-13 Venom movie. So, y'know, fair enough.
This "Sony Marvel Universe" thing, though: what's that all about? Collider says the plan does not call for Sony's MCU to connect "in any way" to the already-established Disney MCU. So does this mean Sony's gonna try and launch their own MCU with Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable? A string of Spider-Man spin-off movies mostly* featuring characters who have never appeared in a Spider-Man movie? Well ... okay.
There's another option here - that Sony's intention is to launch an R-rated series of Marvel movies, sort of along the lines of the company's MAX line of comic titles - but given the other characters Sony's working with, that seems unlikely.
Guess we'll have to wait and see where Sony's head is at on this thing. In the meantime, what do you guys think: what's your interest level like on an R-rated Venom movie? Are you ready for a second, Sony-spearheaded MCU? Sound off in the comments below.
* = Key word: "mostly".