World News – AU – DC Films is fast becoming a prime destination for R-rated superhero films


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We heard from James Gunn himself over the weekend that (from now on) Warner Bros. . « The Suicide Squad » will indeed be an R-rated image. It’s not exactly a shock. Gunn’s Pre-Guardians edition consists of Troma films and cruelly violent genre films such as Slither and Super. After all, not even Birds of Prey and Joker, Warner Bros.. . is the studio in which Constantine, 300, 300: Rise of a Empire, V for Vendetta and Watchmen, was released in theaters with varying degrees of success.

Here’s the weird: assuming the loose sequel to David Ayer’s PG-13 supervillain ensemble film was actually released on Jan.. Coming to theaters with an R rating on August 25th, this means that five out of eleven DC Films films were released in theaters with restricted ratings or retrospectively converted to R-rated versions. And when Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which was released on Jan.. March 2022, also goes, half of the current DC Films films are rated R..

Todd Phillips’ Oscar winner (and $ 1). Joker was rated R for its bloody violence, profanity, and adult themes. Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, played like a femme-centered, cocaine-fueled gangster film by Guy Ritchie, earned an R thanks to an R-rated film. Unfortunately, despite strong reviews, the (excellent) Harley Quinn spin-off made $ 201 million on a budget of $ 82 million.

Suspicion of the suicide squad in which Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney and Viola Davis played their roles alongside a flood of newbies (Idris Elba, Jon Cena, etc.. ) will repeat. ) follows, these are three of eleven DC Comics adaptations released in theaters that are released with R-Ratings. Almost by accident, DC Films is slowly turning into a hot spot for R-rated superhero films.

Furthermore, the ideal version of Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman isn’t the 151-minute PG-13 version that made $ 873 million worldwide (that’s good) after having made $ 424 million worldwide was opened (that’s bad). . No, the final version is the superior 181-minute « Ultimate Edition » with an R rating. « While this version probably never could have played in the theater (both for length and rating), it provides more context and more character beats for Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent and Amy Adams’ Lois Lane. « .

This isn’t like the director says « Terminator 2: Judgment Day » or any of 7. 132 versions of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner « different is not necessarily better ». You wouldn’t choose to see the theatrical version of Zack Snyder’s Dawn of Justice more than the theatrical version of Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Additionally, we have no idea how the Justice League’s four-hour “Snyder Cut” will play when it debuts on HBO Max (and possibly in theaters) later this year.

Yes, it is supposedly going to be an R-rated movie, complete with hack-and-slash violence and Ben Affleck’s Batman uttering F-words. Will it be better than the theatrical compromise constructed by Joss Whedon (which WB tried to both hit the November 2017 release date and upgrade the film into a « Diet Avengers »)? Or will it be « different is not better » like the Richard Donner cut of Superman II? I’m glad Donner’s scenes saw the light, but the version staged by Richard Lester is superior (by default).

While Snyder’s Justice League is an alternative option to the official cut (and even if he calls it « Elseworld »), DC Films’ multiverse will include seven PG-13 films (Man of Steel, Suicide) Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Aquaman, Shazam! And Wonder Woman 1984) and five R-rated films (Dawn of Justice, Snyders Justice League, Joker, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad). Throw in Reeves’ The Batman as an R-rated movie and a theoretical uncut / R-rated HBO Max version of Ayers Suicide Squad, and that’s 50/50.

Obviously, this is not an all-or-nothing scenario. Matt Reeves’ The Batman could likely turn out to be a PG-13 serial killer mystery thriller, especially since Reeves experienced a lot of disturbing violence in his sequels to PG-13 Planet of the Apes. I doubt James Wan’s eventual Aquaman 2 will be a grim, R-rated carnage. Aquaman made $ 1. 148 billion worldwide. Even the Conjuring Universe is pretty soft on R-rated violence, while the first Saw isn’t nearly as gory as the sequels.

Ditto Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. Most of the Hitchcockian Liam Neeson thrillers by Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop, The Commuter, etc.. ). ) were PG-13. Additionally, the film appears positioned as a backdoor pilot for the Justice Society, and Johnson’s large tent poles were almost all family-friendly. At worst, it’ll be as scary Amblin style as Sandberg’s great nursing home fantasy Shazam! Same goes for Andrés Muschietti’s The Flash (twice). Yes, DC Films seems to specialize in PG-13 thrills developed by R-rated horror films (Collet-Serra also directed Orphan and House of Wax). .

Additionally, Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns seem to have had a pretty free hand over their violent and aggressively ambitious 1984 Wonder Woman, a PG-13 film that honestly fell short of a G by a few adaptations. We’ve got to a point where roughly half of DC Comics’ big live-action films between 2013 and 2021 will technically be R-rated films. That said, right now, the discussion about R-rated superhero films is no longer just theoretical. But does that mean something by and large?

Despite previous successes from Deadpool and Logan, Warner Bros. . has a history of creating tentpole level event films from R-rated genre films. The studio behind The Bodyguard ($ 411 million in 1992), The Matrix Reloaded ($ 742 million in 2003), 300 ($ 456 million in 2007), and The Hangover ($ 469 million in 2009) not only purposely plays in sandboxes that are currently unavailable to the MCU. American Sniper ($ 547 million in 2014), It ($ 700 million in 2017), and Joker ($ 1). 073 billion in 2019) let these comic films be what they want.

We’ve had R-rated DC movies and R-rated Marvel movies, as well as R-rated (smaller) superhero movies like Kick-Ass, Hellboy, Kingsman, and Wanted. Speaking of Kingsman (who made $ 825. Fox is now part of Disney
Empire, which means that its ability to make large R-rated films (other than Deadpool 3) is now severely limited. While Universal scored with mid-budget greats like Straight Outta Compton and Fifty Shades of Gray, their R-rated releases have been mostly limited to Blumhouse and / or Platinum Dunes horror films lately.

Warner Bros. . can make (again) the home of the R-rated tent mast. If The Suicide Squad scores as an R-rated movie followed by a (hopefully R-rated) Matrix 4, then this mini-trend is about more than just DC movies. Whether AT&T or not
takes care of theater long term, Warner Bros. . can use the DC Films franchise to have their cake (PG-13 tent poles) and eat it too (R-rated blockbusters). Maybe I’ll get my grim Detective Chimp movie after all! Alleluia indeed.

I have studied the film industry both academically and informally with a focus on box office analysis for nearly 30 years. I’ve written extensively about all of them

I have studied the film industry both academically and informally with a focus on box office analysis for nearly 30 years. I have written extensively on all of the above for the past 11 years. My film review, film commentary, and film grant outlets included The Huffington Post, Salon, and Film Threat. Follow me on @ScottMendelson and « like » The Ticket Booth on Facebook.

James Gunn, R (US), Suicide Squad, DC Films, DC Extended Universe, Superhero

World News – AU – DC Films is fast becoming a prime target for R-rated superhero films



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