Birds Of Prey Might Not Be Rated R After All

Huntress in the Birds of Prey promo

The past two days have been exciting for DC fans. Straight off the massive success of James Wan's Aquaman, the time has come to look ahead to the myriad projects coming down the Warner Bros. pipeline. While Shazam! is next up, all eyes are on Cathy Yan's upcoming Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). We just got our first look at the film's leading characters, and now we've got an update regarding the blockbuster's rating.

A few months ago, it was reported that Birds of Prey was aiming for an R-rating, as the ensemble project focused on the villainy and mob life in Gotham City. But now that the movie is actually in production, it looks like that rating might not be set in stone, as it could end up being PG-13.

This news comes to us from Jo Blo's Paul Shirey, who reportedly heard it from Warner Bros. himself. The update doesn't given an official rating for Birds Of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), simply revealing that the studio hasn't settled on an official rating for Cathy Yan's blockbuster. Perhaps the rating will become clear as filming continues, given that the movie won't arrive in theaters until February 2020.

If Birds of Prey ends up going with a PG-13 rating, it would make sense. The superhero genre in general usually shoots for that rating from the MPAA, allowing a wide audience to experience the movie, and hopefully shell out lots of cash in the process. Indeed, there have only been a handful of R-rated comic book movies, coming from 20th Century Fox with the Deadpool franchise and 2017's Logan.

Still, the potential R-rating was exciting, and possibly indicated that Warner Bros. was looking to take some creative risks with the DC Universe. After all, Todd Phillips' upcoming Joker is set outside of the shared universe, which is something that the MCU hasn't attempted yet.

The possible R-rating for Birds Of Prey was also exciting for the hardcore comic book fandom, who may want to see the studio step it up in regards to language, violence, and the like. With Ewan McGregor playing mob boss Black Mask and Chris Messina as psychopathic self-mutilator Victor Zsasz, a more adult rating may service the characters better.

On the flip side, being PG-13 allows Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to be more accessible to audiences, especially younger adults with a penchant for superheroes. The fandom is eager to see the return of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, although an R-rating may exclude some young fans who fell in love with the femme fatale in Suicide Squad.

Overall, there are a ton of factors to consider before setting on a rating for Birds Of Prey-- including how the MPAA will judge the flick. So for now, we'll just have to sit and wait for more information.

Birds of Prey will arrive in theaters on February 7th, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.