No, The Black Widow Movie Was Never Going To Be Rated R

Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War

Early this year, a rumor made the rounds about the MCU’s Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson. According to the rumor, at one point, while the film was in development, it was discussed to possibly become the MCU’s first R-rated movie. This was never confirmed and was reported as a rumor, and now we know for sure that it's just that, a rumor. According to Kevin Feige himself:

It never was going to be. Somebody writes, 'I hear it's R-rated!' And then everybody writes it up.

There you have it. Black Widow will not break the seal on R-rated films for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will instead almost certainly retain the PG-13 rating that all of the previous films featuring the character have used. Beyond that, Kevin Feige told that Black Widow was never going to be R-rated.

As Kevin Feige noted, the rumor got started and everyone wrote and talked about it, including us. Such is the nature of the level of interest in these films and the demand for information. If an intriguing rumor is out there, it makes sense to talk about it, as long as it is reported as just a rumor and everyone takes the appropriate amount of salt with it.

It may be possible that someone at some point said "Hey maybe we should make this rated R," but Kevin Feige made it clear that it was never going to be. Ultimately it was just a rumor. You can see why this gained traction though.

Black Widow as a character would make the most sense of the existing MCU stable to have an R-rated film. If someone said the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming or the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie were going to have that restricted rating, it would not have been given as much digital ink. We also have recently heard that Deadpool will remain R-rated at Marvel, so maybe there is a future for the rating at Marvel, but not with Black Widow.

I have argued that it would have been a ballsy move for Marvel to make Black Widow R-rated and a cool way to do something different in the MCU, yet I acknowledge that it was always an unnecessary move. By giving Black Widow a more blockbuster-friendly rating, the film won’t alienate any of the audiences that have enjoyed Scarlett Johansson’s character to this point.

So now, although not official, we basically know the rating for Black Widow, or at least know what it won’t be. We still don’t know when this movie is hitting theaters but the rumor and expectation is that it could be one of Marvel’s 2020 films. Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland and will star Scarlett Johansson, who may be making a pretty penny for the film. The rest of the cast and any firm plot details remain a mystery for now.

Black Widow may have been the MCU’s first heroine, but her solo film will not be the MCU’s first female-led movie. That honor goes to Captain Marvel, which hits theaters next month. After that we’ll see Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow when Avengers: Endgame opens on April 26.

Check out our 2019 release schedule to see the biggest movies headed to theaters this year and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your movie news.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.