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We Now Know What Venom: Let There Be Carnage Will Be Rated

After the wild success of 2018's "Venom" starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and his titular extraterrestrial symbiote, it wasn't surprising when Sony announced that it had greenlit a sequel. What did catch fans off-guard was the announcement that Andy Serkis would be directing the second film — though really, Serkis is a logical choice, thanks to his lengthy experience in bringing complex CGI characters to life. 

The upcoming sequel "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" will properly introduce the fan-favorite comic book villain Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson). Cletus — who appeared briefly at the end of the first "Venom" film being interviewed by Eddie — is a sadistic serial killer, and based on the new film's trailers, it appears that he will bite Eddie shortly before he is due for execution, an act that will somehow bond him to his own symbiote, and thereby transform him into the hideously unhinged supervillain named — you guessed it — Carnage. The promotional materials for the film have teased just how much chaos Carnage is going to create when he's unleashed in San Francisco, and based on the comics, he will likely partner up with Naomie Harris' character, a villain called Shriek.

Eddie and Venom will definitely have a lot to contend with when facing Carnage, but for years, fans have wondered whether the arrival of this decidedly violent villain would lead to Sony going for an R-rating, to let Carnage be as crazy as possible. 

Now, ahead of the film's October 15 release date, the MPA has finally released the rating for Venom's highly anticipated sequel.

Minimum Carnage

Carnage might be a dangerous threat, but the action won't get too gory or bloody when his film finally arrives in October. 

As per ComicBook.com, the MPA has given the film a PG-13 rating for "intense sequences of violence and action, some strong language, disturbing material and suggestive references." 

Some might find it a little disappointing that the studio is keeping a leash on its symbiotes, but that description — particularly "intense sequences of violence and action" — suggests that the sequel will still have some bite. Truthfully, there are plenty of ways the movie could still be frightening and scary without being R-rated. The best example of this is Daniel Radcliffe's "The Woman in Black," a 2012 horror film that had a PG-13 rating (via IMDB) and boasts some genuinely terrifying jump scares. That movie also features a few gory moments, but nothing over the top. Another prominent example of a hard PG-13 would be "The Dark Knight," which featured a brutal, terrifying Joker (Heath Ledger) without delving into severe bloodletting. So with that in mind, the PG-13 rating for "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" might not be as worrying as some fans think.

For example, look at the most recent trailer where Carnage sticks his spiky tongue down a prison guard's throat — gross, but not R-rated. There are ways of pushing the boundaries of violence and horror without needing the R-rating. 

Obviously, this is likely a financial decision on Sony's behalf, as the lower rating means that a wider audience will be able to see it, and at a time when big-budget movies really need to make their money back, studios need to sell as many tickets as possible.

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is set to open in theaters on October 15.