Most were probably expecting Marvel’s R-rated “Deadpool” to do at least reasonably well at the box office when it was released back in February, but it quickly shattered all expectations. According to Box Office Mojo, the raunchy, bloody action-comedy has already raked in $730 million worldwide. And compared to many of its kind that hold a PG-13 rating, its outperformed many of them by a long shot.
So with that in mind, way over on the other side of the pond, some thought DC may reconsider the predetermined ratings for their upcoming films. One of their most anticipated, “Suicide Squad“, was particularly targeted. Written and directed by David Ayer, the film features a ragtag team of villains who are tasked with very dangerous missions by a secret government group. The film includes the merciless Joker, which is the type of violent character that could merit an R-rating.
“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice“, set for release this coming Friday, is PG-13, although director Zack Snyder has confirmed an R-rated version for the home release. But Charles Roven, a producer on Snyder’s and Ayer’s films, told Collider that DC and Warner Bros. won’t change the ratings of their films simply to appeal to a more adult audience:
“At the moment, my understanding is we are still releasing Suicide Squad as a PG-13, so there hasn’t been to my mind a serious conversation about doing anything other than that. I understand why Deadpool was released as an R-rated film, and I think that the DC Justice League characters, particularly because so many of them are so iconographic, have been around for so long and for so many generations that have grown up with them, and that are still growing up with them, I think we want to present them, when we finally present them, to the broadest possible audience that we can. I think that’s why we’ve planned on making these movies PG-13.
“I’m not seeing any real reason to change. We’ve made some pretty edgy films that are rated PG-13. You never want to say ‘never’ because we all evolve, but right now I think we’re staying that course.”
While that is understandable, another question arises of whether or not the lesser-known characters of the DC comics, the equivalent to that of Marvel’s “Deadpool”, would possibly get the adult rating if they were ever put onto the big screen. Roven stated that there are possibilities for that but nothing has been confirmed:
“I am a fan of other DC characters that I’m not producing those films. Right now my focus on the DC Universe is the DC Justice League Universe… There’s a group we’re maybe kicking around the idea of it. We haven’t actually yet fully put it into development so I can’t really talk about it, I’m sorry. But at present, for the time being, we’re headed down this course.”
So sometime down the road we could be seeing an R-rated DC film, but for the ones that have been confirmed for production in the next few years, PG-13 is what fans will have to live with. Now, that’s not to rule out other intriguing possibilities; Snyder was able to get the adult rating for the extended edition of his film, which means that Ayer may be able to do the same thing. And while that may be a long shot, it’s still an interesting thing to consider.
“Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” hits theaters on March 25, followed by “Suicide Squad” on August 5.