Why the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to be rated R in the future


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There are (more) dark times to come for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with discussions finally turning to when / if the MCU will embrace its R-rated potential. Over the past 13 years, the world’s most lucrative franchise has made its money by offering family-friendly rates. While there was a lot of death and destruction across the 25 MCU films, we never crossed that crucial PG-13 limit.

As the MCU continues to thrive, there are always questions about the sequel. At the very beginning of Phase 1, it was too risky to give Thor an R rating and send it to Hel. Nowadays, there is enough audience and appetite for R odds to take a bet. Characters like Ghost Rider and The Punisher are set for more adult-oriented production when they return, and a brutal Heroes for Hire series could perfectly figure in the new Starz branch of the Disney Plus streaming service.

In a different realm, R-rated behemoths like Deadpool, Joker, and James Gunn’s recent splatterfest, The Suicide Squad, show comic book movies targeting the older age groups. As the pressure mounts for MCU overlord Kevin Feige to bathe in Marvel Comics‘ bloodiest side, it’s only a matter of time before an R-rated MCU outing sticks its middle finger on. reviews – and we couldn’t be happier.

The notion of an R-rated MCU movie is to be distinguished from an R-rated Marvel movie. Since Iron Man launched the MCU in 2008, there have been many R-rated Marvel movies. Notably, Tim Miller’s Deadpool movies and David Leitch was rated R. Other than that, it’s easy to forget that ultra-violent Kick-Ass movies also fall under the Marvel umbrella.

What really separated the PG-13s from the R-rated films was David Mangold’s Logan. Following Hugh Jackman’s acclaimed legacy in the sometimes cheesy X-Men movies (Toads and Lightning, anyone?), The Clawed Canadian bowed with a black western thriller that broke the mold. . Much to Ryan Reynolds ‘amusement, the Deadpool movies both overtook Logan, but while Merc’ with a Mouth relied on penis jokes, Logan was serious business some still won’t recognize as a super movie. -hero.

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Ironically, there have been reports that Cate Shortland’s Black Widow may have been rated R. This was quickly debunked by Feige, who told ComicBook.com in 2019: “This was never going to be. [R-rated]. Someone writes, “Heard it’s rated R! And then everyone writes it. However, the fact that the tease of an R-rated Black Widow is taken proves that there is something there.

Moving forward to 2021, the landscape for the MCU – and the industry in general – is very different. With Scarlett Johansson‘s swan song also being a family affair with echoes of Logan, a different branch of the multiverse could easily have seen Shortland ride the gore to earn that elusive R rating.

In early 2021, Feige told Collider that Deadpool 3 would be the first R-rated MCU film. Although filming won’t begin until 2022, the studio boss said a team is working on a script and confirmed that the gross franchise would retain the R rating that made it a box office success. Unfortunately, the Venomverse has yet to wrap its tendrils around an R. While it contains plenty of adult themes and henchmen getting their heads blown off, this slippery symbiote retains the universal appeal of the PG. -13.

Stereotypically, the R-rated films haven’t been able to beat the earnings of their PG-13 counterparts – which makes sense as they alienate a large chunk of the fan base. Then again, Joker grossing over $ 1 billion at the box office to become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, means he’s left MCU outings, including everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home. to Thor: Ragnarok in his wake, and Black Widow in the dust.

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But where does that leave the packed list of MCU movies and shows already underway? While many consider 2000’s X-Men to be the movie that helped kick-start our current obsession with comic book movies, that honor should go to 1998’s Blade. The fanged favorite was shamelessly rated R, so it seems fitting. Whether the Mahershala Ali-led reboot could also opt for an R. Daywalkers and vampires definitely lend themselves to bloody violence, but it remains to be seen if Blade is the first new part of the franchise to take the plunge.

Once the doors are open for R in the MCU, there is no end to what follows. Evil Dead legend Sam Raimi is currently working on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and although he’s billed as the MCU’s first horror-superhero hybrid, we doubt he’ll take the plunge to An R rating. Finally, after the success of The Suicide Squad, James Gunn defended R-rated films on IndieWire. The Guardians of the Galaxy director told the post that while PIs like the Guardians should stay PG-13, he “would love” to make an R-rated Drax the Destroyer movie.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing Kraven the Hunter in a Sony film of the same name lends himself to the notoriously ghoulish arc of “Kraven’s Last Hunt”. Even though Feige was once keen to distance the MCU’s Sony Pictures universe from Marvel characters (we still hate the name), Michael Keaton’s cameo as Adrian Toomes in the Morbius trailer – and rumors lingered that Tom Holland could appear in Venom: Let There Be Carnage – suggests anything could happen.

There is also the Multiverse to take into account. What if… from Marvel? Just started its first series of episodes, but there is already hope that some of the stories could turn into live action. After THAT terrifying Iron Man zombie in Spider-Man: Far From Home, there’s even an animated adaptation of the bloody Marvel Zombies that managed to keep What… If? in the PG-13 holder. Ironically, writer AC Bradley confirmed (via The Post Credit Podcast) that a David Cronenberg-inspired Spider-Man episode was cut because it was stuffed with “body horror” and would have done And … if ? R-rated.

It’s clear the MCU is moving towards less kid-friendly ideas, and while we’re not there yet, even those at the top think it’s only a matter of time. Ultimately, Deadpool 3 is a turning point for much more than the Fox properties merged into the MCU. All of the above hints that the MCU is trying a more experimental phase of testing potentially R-rated concepts. Hopefully someday we’ll have a proper adaptation of Old Man Logan who sees Red Skull beheaded by Cap’s shield and Wolverine springs from it. Hulk chest.

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