After a mixed reaction from both fans and critics to Zack Snyder’s superhero title fight Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the DCEU has found itself in a state of flux. Creative changes have taken place behind the scenes, with the hopes of salvaging what worked from BVS and fixing what didn’t going forward. The next installment in the franchise is Suicide Squad, an adaptation of a DC comic book series that has been published off and on since 1987. The titular team is comprised of a group of incarcerated supervillains enlisted as covert assets by the government, in a sort of twisted work release program. The bargain is simple: Complete dangerous black ops missions for their overseers, and the Squad’s prison sentences are reduced.
Considering the recent mega success of Fox’s R-rated Deadpool, many had wondered whether Suicide Squad’s anti-heroic subject matter might be better suited for an R rating as well, although WB and DC officials maintained that the film would remain PG-13.
Sure enough, Box Office Mojo is reporting the MPAA has now officially granted Suicide Squad a PG-13 rating for “sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language.” While it’s not a surprise, this news will likely disappoint some, as Suicide Squad’s premise certainly lends itself to a no holds barred hard-R endeavor. But, it appears that WB and DC didn’t envision the film as an R-rated comic book blockbuster.
On the plus side, Suicide Squad director David Ayer has previously expressed interest in helming an R-rated sequel to the property, and one presumes that if the film does well WB/DC will be inclined go out of their way to make Ayer happy on his second go-around with the franchise. The studio may also be curious to see how well the R-rated director’s cut of BVS does on home video before taking the gamble of releasing an adults-only DCEU movie directly to theaters.
After all, just because Deadpool earned roughly all of the money, doesn’t mean that every future R-rated superhero flick will do the same. Additionally, fans may wonder whether WB and DC have plans to put out a more hard-edged cut of Suicide Squad on Blu-ray as well, as for all fans know there is enough MPAA unfriendly deleted footage to make that a viable option. In an era where Hollywood seems terrified of taking risks, putting an R-rated cut out later for those interested offers gun-shy studios a chance to have their PG-13 cake and eat it too.
Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.
Source: Box Office Mojo