Aquaman has been officially classified as a 12A in the United Kingdom, like every other DCEU movie bar Suicide Squad. In order to get that rating, though, it seems the film had to be edited during post-production, with a "bloody detail" removed.
Aquaman is one of the most eagerly anticipated films to release in December. The film's been watched by selected members of the press, and first reactions on social media have been tremendously positive. There's some hope that Warner Bros. will have another hit on the scale of Wonder Woman on their hands; movie tickets went on sale last week and broke records. Hopefully this will mean that Aquaman will have a higher opening weekend and better legs at the box office than had previously been expected.
The film is envisioned as your typical superhero tentpole movie, which means the age-rating is all-important. Over in the U.K., according to Digital Spy the BBFC has officially assigned Aquaman a 12A rating. Surprisingly, though, it seems it wasn't a sure thing. "This work was originally seen for advice," they note. "The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 15 but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by removing bloody detail. When the film was submitted for formal classification the bloody detail had been removed and the film was classified 12A."
The 12A rating is for films that the BBFC believe are suitable for children aged 12 and over; British cinemas can only allow under-12s into the screening if they are accompanied by an adult. The judgment is usually made by Compliance Officers, who carefully assess the film based what they believe 12-year-olds will know from school and their friends, how they'll understand the world, and what impression the movie will leave on them. In this case, it seems that the Compliance Officers believed at least one scene had a level of gore that was inappropriate for 12-year-olds, but this was edited out in order to secure the 12A rating.
It's interesting to speculate just how gruesome these scenes were - after all, previous superhero films with a 12A rating include the likes of The Wolverine and Batman Begins. That suggests horror director James Wan had filmed at least one scene that was unusually bloody, perhaps explaining why Warner Bros. approached the BBFC for guidance. Of course, it's not uncommon for studios to cut a movie in order to get their desired rating. One of the most controversial examples was Fox's decision to cut A Good Day to Die Hard of R-rated content back in 2013; the U.K. was, amusingly enough, one of the few territories where that film performed well.
Aquaman has been given a PG-13 rating in the US, which again should secure a broad appeal.
Source: Digital Spy
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019