Long before shared universes and superhero movies became commonplace, the X-Men franchise was breaking ground in the film world. The mutant centric property continues for two decades, but has finally reached its end thanks to Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox. But there's one more movie arriving from that old franchise, Josh Boone's The New Mutants. It's been a long road to theaters, with some reports indicating that Boone was aiming for a hard R-rating for the horror inspired superhero. Now the verdict is in, and it might disappoint moviegoers with a penchant for the spooky.
After years of debate and conjecture, The New Mutants was officially given a PG-13 rating by the MPAA. So while elements of horror will be infused in the long gestating mutant blockbuster, we shouldn't expect too much gore and/or jump scares. The official reasoning for The New Mutants' rating is as follows:
Rated PG-13 for violent content, some disturbing/bloody images, some strong language, thematic elements and suggestive material.
It sounds like The New Mutants might push the boundaries of what we expect from a PG-13 comic book movie, but it wasn't intense enough to garner an R rating. The MPAA has very specific criteria in its rating system, often having to do with imagery, sex, and language.
The official rating for The New Mutants comes to us from FilmRatings.com, which is automatically updated once the MPAA gives its official ratings/reasoning behind each new release. The vast majority of comic book movies are indeed PG-13, although there has been a push for R rated content in the past few years. And given how Josh Boone will lean into horror tropes in The New Mutants, many were hoping it would be following in the footsteps of Deadpool and Logan. Alas, the movie will instead be able to attract a wider audience.
Prior to Deadpool's release, comic book movies weren't rated R. Studios considered the age minimum restricting at the box office, believing that an R-rated superhero movie wouldn't be as profit as its PG-13 counterparts. That all changed thanks to Ryan Reynolds and the Merc with the Mouth, with other properties taking the risk with their ratings, in exchange for more adult content and creative control.
The first trailer for The New Mutants arrived back in 2017, and teased something wholly unique to the superhero genre. The final X-Men movie is set in an asylum for young mutants, which is a terrifying prison that feeds on their fears. The trailers feature some truly horrifying imagery, but now it's clear that it won't be R-rated horror. We'll just have to wait for the movie to hit theaters before audiences can see how that line is walked.