Why Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam Opted Not To Go For An R-Rating, According To The Producer

Dwayne Johnson as The Rock in Black Adam DC Fandome teaser
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Between last year’s Birds of Prey and the release of The Suicide Squad next weekend, f-bombs and super gory action sequences in the DCEU are becoming more common. As we learned back in 2019, Warner Bros. is making it a point to make more R-rated films in its comic book movies – possibly as a way to distinguish itself from Marvel Studios. However, the upcoming Black Adam movie starring Dwayne Johnson is sticking with the classic PG-13 rating, according to a producer.

The long-awaited debut of The Rock as the comic book antihero is currently in the works from Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra and Dwayne Johnson’s production company, Seven Bucks. While we wait for the summer 2022 release, Seven Bucks’ president of production Hiram Garcia shared the intended rating of the DCEU movie, and why the project aimed for it:

This will be PG-13, but it’s not because we're being forced to be PG-13. The way we devised the movie, it just wasn't necessary to make it R, and it's something we discussed because we did want to be true to the character. The truth is that we felt we were properly able to represent the edge and power that Black Adam has without needing to go to an R rating. This movie can thrive in a PG-13 space and that’s great for us because we want to introduce Back Adam to as many people as possible.

PG-13 is the norm for comic book movies, but can sometimes restrain certain comic book characters if the vision is more bloody than the studio would like for a huge audience. In terms of Black Adam, Garcia told Collider that they’ve already had discussions about the tone of the film, and they’d like to open up the movie to a larger audience than purely adults. He also added this:

No one ever felt like The Dark Knight was too soft. That was probably one of the hardest PG-13s you've ever seen. That's the way we’ve approached our PG-13, and by no means has that rating limited our kill count!

So while Black Adam may be PG-13 when it comes out, it’s definitely going to be a harder PG-13. The movie sounds like it has an edge to it and will definitely push the limits of its rating a bit as Dwayne Johnson suits up as the famed archnemesis of Shazam.

A couple weeks ago, Dwayne Johnson wrapped production as Black Adam, which saw the actor holding a giveaway of $10,000 to three winners in the crew. The movie is still undergoing post-production in Los Angeles, just as The Rock’s Jungle Cruise movie hits the box office and Disney+ Premier Access this weekend.

The movie will now have a year to be cut together, and audiences will get to see James Gunn’s take on The Suicide Squad and Matt Reeves’ The Batman ahead of its July 29th release date. That’s right – one year from now we’re finally going to see The Rock take on the famed character.

Black Adam will also see the big-screen introduction of the Justice Society of America, with Aldis Hodge playing Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate. Black Adam may not be one of the DCEU’s more mature films, but Hiram Garcia is still teasing some major action for it in PG-13.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.