Will R-rated comic book films become the norm?

When Deadpool became the highest-grossing R-rated film, 20th Century Fox announced that Logan would also be rated R. Jackman had long been wanting to make an R-rated Wolverine film, and doing so would be closer to the source material. But how much accuracy to source material matters is still a topic of debate, and so the question is now whether or not Logan‘s R-rating is due to the story being told, or if it’s entirely because of Deadpool.

Notably, few R-rated comic book films have been successful – of the 10 highest-grossing R-rated comic book films, none are rated above PG-13. Deadpool is at #11. The second highest-grossing R-rated comic book film is 300, which is only in the 30 highest-grossing comic book films. Since it’s highly likely that Deadpool 2 will also be rated R, the next film in the X-Men series is X-Force, which Ryan Reynolds claims will feature Deadpool. X-Force producer Simon Kinberg has told Collider that X-Force could be rated R. Deadpool 3 has been mentioned as a possibility, which would also include the X-Force, making X-Force‘s R rating more likely for means of consistency. A PG-13 rating would help X-Force reach a wider audience, but the inclusion of Deadpool would probably bring the same success as Deadpool had. Gambit is also in development, though within varying levels of reality. Gambit previously appeared in the PG-13 rated X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which makes it likely that Gambit would be rated PG-13 if it even happens. X-Men: Supernova is also in the works, and is supposedly a sequel to the X-Men prequel trilogy of X-Men: First ClassX-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, and would presumably link to the X-Men trilogy of X-MenX2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. None of the six films in that cycle were R-rated, so there’s no substantial reason to believe that X-Men: Supernova would be.

If Logan is to be the last R-rated comic book film for a while, Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures would never take the risk of an R-rating in their commercial, “family-friendly” shared universes. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice- Ultimate Edition is R-rated, but was a straight-to-demand director’s cut. Even the R-rated The Killing Joke was released on demand only. Perhaps that would give 20th Century Fox a market advantage and convince them to become the only studio that makes R-rated comic book films…


Author: the Purple Prose Mage

I'm not Batman, but I wish that I were.

11 thoughts on “Will R-rated comic book films become the norm?”

  1. In all honesty, I hope not. Sacrificing good storytelling by putting an R-rating at first priority for a film isn’t a good idea, though of course an R-rated film can still be a good movie. I think if they set out from the beginning to appeal to a set of preconceptions, then it’s just pandering. And God knows we don’t need any more of THAT in comic book films. If the story demands it then it’s fine but to just make a movie super violent, edgy, gory, and sexualized for the sake of the rating is not something I’ll be interested in. Besides, I think that experiencing the awesomeness of superheroes alongside children is great, seeing the wonder in their eyes.

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          1. I hope that’s true, sincerely. Only the Snyders seem to have taken a producer’s role in the DCEU to some extent. There’s that whole recent article about an unnamed source saying WW is a mess, too. Could be garbage, could be true. I’ll still see it opening weekend but it’ll break my heart if that movie sucks… Diana waited so long.

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                    1. Avengers is… it’s a cool movie. What makes it is the banter between the characters and the personality that Joss Whedon brings to it. But at moments, it’s feels like a sitcom based on the MCU, and the formulaic stuff at the end does feel very derivative of Marvel’s style. But I enjoy watching it. I’m just not the kind of person that declares a film to be a 10 just because I like it. Plus, I wasn’t overly attached to the characters before seeing it, so I don’t bring that to it either. That said, it takes place in the daytime, so I can see what’s happening. Ultimately, it remembers that its premise is really a bit silly, and embraces it. That’s why it’s easier to like that the Murderverse. I’d give it about a 7.

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                    2. I think we have just about the same feelings on it. I’ve heard so many say it’s the perfect superhero film but I just disagree. I’ve never been a Marvel fan anyways so it was easier to treat Avengers as cheap entertainment.

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