While The Suicide Squad has a pandemic-related excuse, R-rated comic book adaptations at large are still very much a mixed bag when it comes to box office results. Logan, Fox’s two Deadpools and Joker all made a ton of money, but on the other side of the coin Birds of Prey, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and the Hellboy reboot didn’t fare so well.
Sony’s Spider-Man Universe is presumably going to play in a PG-13 sandbox to ensure that the studio’s latest attempt to launch a shared Marvel mythology doesn’t implode in record time like the last one, but we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Kingsley would be back as Trevor Slattery in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings long before it was confirmed – that Tom Hardy reportedly wants Venom 3 to be R.
You get the impression that the symbiotic antihero would work much better in an R-rated context, with Ruben Fleischer’s Venom and Andy Serkis’ upcoming Let There Be Carnage unable to offer the sort of twisted tone, gruesome body horror and depraved violence you’d expect from what’s essentially an alien parasite that turns people into either monsters or murderers, sometimes both.
As the leading man, producer and co-writer of the sequel, Hardy has a huge say in shaping the direction of the franchise, and he admitted he’s already thinking about a third installment. However, it’s probably entirely dependent on Let There Be Carnage‘s profit margins when it finally comes to theaters, and the dust will need to settle on the second chapter before Venom 3 talks can begin in earnest.