Why Suicide Squad Won't Go After An R Rating

Because Suicide Squad is so different from other comic book movies, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not it could be rated R. Given that villains are at the forefront, we can expect the protagonists to be much fiercer than the average heroes. Plus, director David Ayer’s resume consists mostly of fare for the 17-years-and-older set. However, it’s now official that Warner Bros. is aiming for a PG-13 rating with the 2016 blockbuster.

When asked whether there had ever been consideration to go after an R rating for Suicide Squad, producer Charles Roven told Collider that it’s always been planned as PG-13 so that it can fit with the other DC movies. Roven said:

We really want to make these films tonally consistent so that, as I said because this is a shared universe, at least our current thinking—and again, we’re not dealing in absolutes because while this is business it’s also a creative endeavor, so you want to leave yourself open to changing your mind, doing something different, being inspired, that’s the whole process of filmmaking is you have to allow for inspiration as well as having a road map for what you’re gonna do. So our plan right now is to make all these films PG-13. In some cases, you know, right there on the edge of PG-13, but still PG-13.

While not attaching an R rating to Suicide Squad puts a cap on how much blood, gore, and cursing can be featured, from a marketing standpoint, this movie is a part of the DC Extended Universe, so Warner Bros. wants younger viewers to be able to watch it and keep track of how it’s connected to the franchise’s other entries. So while it may feature slightly more intense violence, it won’t cross that proverbial “line.” Think along the lines of 2008’s The Dark Knight. That said, it is hard to imagine how this movie will be (if at all) targeted towards kids. No doubt a parent wouldn’t like wandering down the toy aisle and spotting an action figure with “Suicide” labeled on the front.

So far the only R rated superhero movie fans can expect for next year is Deadpool, but don’t think that means Suicide Squad won’t explore some dark corners. After all, this is a story following a group of incarcerated criminals and murderers who are sent on black ops missions by the government. Things are bound to get grittier than typical superhero tales (unless we’re talking about a Batman movie). Let’s not forget that Jared Leto’s Joker will also deliver some twisted moments, and frankly, he could have pushed the movie to R on his own if Ayer and the creative team had wanted to go in that direction.

Suicide Squad hits theaters on August 5, 2016.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.