Fleischer Talks Casting Tom Hardy, And Not Pulling Any Punches Despite VENOM Being PG-13
This week will mark the arrival of Venom to a multiplex near you. While I’m very excited about getting to see the film- and I’m planning to release a video review for our YouTube channel on Wednesday, and a written review for the site on Thursday- there have been plenty of other sites and commentators who have, for whatever reason, decided to beat on Venom like a red-headed stepchild, even prior to seeing it themselves.
Thankfully, that’s had very little impact on the anticipation most fans are feeling for the film. For example, a survey on Atom Tickets recently revealed that Venom is the most anticipated film of the fall on that ticket-selling service.
A big part of that, aside from the film centering on a fan-favorite character from the Spider-Man Mythos, is star Tom Hardy. “Even fans who have reservations about the movie itself are eager to see what Hardy brings to the role,” noted Atom Tickets editorial lead Alisha Grauso.
Unsurprisingly, Venom director Ruben Fleischer was just as excited to cast Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock as we are to see him in the role. In a new chat with JoBlo, Fleischer says “I think, similar to you, I am just a huge fan of pretty much everything I have ever seen him in- starting with Bronson, which I just loved. Whether it is in the Nolan movies, Inception, Bane, I absolutely love the movie Locke.”
“His Mad Max: Fury Road, I mean he is one of the most exciting actors to watch on screen but he also brings to every role he plays so much interest and complexity,” he continues. “And with a character like Eddie that is struggling with a serious issue, he felt like someone who could explore those depths. In addition to that, from the comics, Eddie Brock is kind of a dark and menacing guy who is kind of bitter and unhappy and Tom has the ability to just bring that sort of menace to every character he plays,” the director raves. “So it felt like just the perfect tonal marriage of the movie and the character and the actor.”
After adding that Hardy also brought a great sense of humor both to the character and to the film, he also addresses the movie’s rating. Some have been concerned about a Venom movie that’s rated PG-13, but Fleischer thinks fans shouldn’t worry.
When asked if he was surprised by some of the negative responses he heard following the announcement of the film’s rating, Fleischer said “I was not surprised, just because there was just so much talk prior to the announcement of the rating that it better be R, so we only ever considered it as a PG-13 movie. We never thought about anything more than that.” Fleischer then points to one of the most revered comic book films of all tine as his inspiration with regard to what can and can’t be done with a PG-13 rating. “But THE DARK KNIGHT was always my reference. Where you can make a super bad**s hardcore film and push the envelope in terms of the violence and the intensity, but still make it available to fans of all ages.”
The interviewer then points out that Venom– which he saw and thoroughly enjoyed- is actually a pretty brutal movie, to which Fleischer adds, “I mean he is ripping people’s heads off and I do not think we really pulled any punches, and with the exception of blood, I do not know what more we could have done. But I do not think we need a ton of blood to make it better. I think it works as it is.”
This makes me think of something I tweeted out last Wednesday:
I think the “PG-13 vs R” thing only makes a difference if the film was SHOT with the intention of it being R or Hard R, then gets gimped in the editing bay to make it PG13.
Otherwise, as long as it fits the movie they set out to make, no difference. https://t.co/mXtfxOXQc8
— Mario-F. Robles (@I_Am_MFR) September 26, 2018
If you can’t read it, basically I make the point that what matters is whether or not the film was ever intended to be anything other than PG-13. The only time I’ve seen a rating hurt the quality of a movie is when it was shot as an R-rated feature, but then got chopped to bits and edited in such a way as to turn it into a PG-13 experience. In my mind, as long as the plan was always for it to be a particular rating, then there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
Thankfully, Fleischer is saying that’s exactly the case here. So here I am, not at all worried about the rating.
Venom arrives this Friday!
Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Revenge of The Fans. Previously, he's written for Latino-Review, IGN, Moviehole, and The Splash Report. He's also the host of the top-rated show The Fanboy Podcast and the co-host of The Revengers Podcast. E-Mail: MFR@RevengeOfTheFans.com | Twitter: @I_AM_MFR