If you spent the month of February hiding with a groundhog you may have missed this news: R-rated superhero movies are totally a thing now. Following on the success of Fox’s Deadpool, we learned that they are also planning to make Wolverine 3 an R-rated affair, as well. Add to that the fact that Warner Brothers will be releasing a Rated-R Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on DVD, and it seems like everybody is getting on the bandwagon. Now we just sit back and wait for Marvel to announce their own comic book movie for grown-ups. Or, you know, not.
Disney held their annual meeting where company CEO Bob Iger was asked about everything from theme park pricing to his favorite Disney character (Orange Bird if you’re curious, look it up). Among the volley of his questions Iger was asked if Disney had considered, or was considering, any Rated-R entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following the recent evidence that such things can be successful. Daniel Miller of the Los Angeles Times quoted Iger’s unequivocal response.
We don't have any plans to make R-rated Marvel movies.
While news like this may be upsetting for some fans, it’s difficult to call it surprising. The MCU has been running like a well oiled machine for years. They’re planning things several films ahead. While Deadpool was part of Fox’s X-Men universe, it was also very much a standalone film. Deadpool could do its own thing without upsetting the existing applecart. Marvel movies are so connected that it would be difficult to throw such a tonally different entry into the series without screwing with the entire thing. And the thing makes money as is.
The other thing to keep in mind is that Disney has MCU movies planned through 2019 already. We were expecting all of them to be PG-13 rated and now that’s pretty much confirmed. We have no idea what’s going on after that and if Disney wanted to -- they could consider a more adult film at some point -- there are no plans yet, which doesn’t mean there couldn’t be down the road.
There’s also another reason that Disney doesn’t have to worry too much about about appealing to adults with their Marvel content. They already do. Marvel’s series on Netflix may not be technically R-rated, but they’re certainly in that ballpark. Both Jessica Jones and Daredevil tell much darker, and more violent, stories with very adult themes and content that you probably shouldn’t let small children watch.
Is keeping the MCU PG-13 the right thing to do, or should Marvel be looking at more adult content on the big screen? Let us know what you think below.