DC Will Reportedly Be Making More R-Rated Movies

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker dancing on staircase
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Joker is perhaps the boldest take on a comic book property on the big screen yet, and it just became the genre’s most profitable movie of all time. It’s clear audiences are ready to be challenged and unnerved by the vibrant heroes and villians between the pages of comics. Including an adult audience. Fox’s Logan and Deadpool first proved making superheroes R-rated was commercially viable and now Warner Bros looks to be taking the hint.

Following the over $1 billion box office gross of Joker, DC will reportedly be producing more R-rated movies in the future. And considering this allows the Marvel rival to stand apart from the ever-dominating MCU, it’s no surprise the studio is planning to repeat its most massive success.

According to Variety, a couple highly-anticipated DC movies could have an R-rating. Insiders reportedly predict the February release of Birds of Prey and James Gunn’s 2021 Suicide Squad take could be given a mature rating when they are released in theaters. And moving forward, the studio is considering more gritty and grown-up titles to counteract Disney’s more family-friendly superhero model.

Over the last year, we’ve been getting mixed signals about the rating of Birds of Prey. While an earlier report claimed it would be R-rated, another said it would be PG-13. The action flick starring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and new badass female anti-heroes by her side could be successful either way. If it’s allowed to be more bloody and brash, than maybe The Suicide Squad will follow suit.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

It does make sense for the studio to give Birds of Prey a milder rating since it’s a high-budget project with the need for the success of Harley’s continuing story to make waves. Even if Birds and Suicide Squad opt for PG-13, more R from the studio in the future is to be expected. Joker’s success just cannot be ignored.

Last week, reports surfaced about a possible sequel to Joker being in the works from Todd Phillips. The small project was originally meant to be a one-off drama in the vein of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy and not part of DC’s interconnected franchise/universe. The studio could also decide to spin off more characters from a more mature and grounded perspective.

It’ll be interesting to see if Matt Reeves’ Batman he’s establishing will go into R-rated territory moving forward? The writer/director has assembled an incredible cast including Zoe Kravitz playing Catwoman, Paul Dano as Riddler and Colin Farrell as Penguin alongside Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight. The world of Gotham is seemingly perfect for R-rated installments.

The DC slate also includes Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince coming next summer and Aquaman 2, Green Lantern Corps, The Flash and Black Adam in the works. Do you want to see more R-rated DC movies? Let us know in the comments below!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.