According to Warner Bros. Chief, Toby Emmerich, it's not only possible but likely that there will be more R-rated films to come out of the DC Extended Universe over the next several years. That's not necessarily a surprise either, since it has been clear from the very beginning that Warner Bros. would be taking their DC Comic book movies in a much darker direction than Marvel Studios has with their films, or even 20th Century Fox has with their X-Men cinematic universe (for the most part). So with a whole lineup of possible DC titles being thrown around at the studio right now, there's a huge chance that one or more of them going down even more violent or profane routes than their DC predecessors.
It's also important to note that Warner Bros. has technically already released an R-rated version of one of their DCEU films, with the director's cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that was made available on Blu-ray and DVD last year. However, it's looking more and more like fans won't just have to wait for the home video release to see the ages 17 and up versions of their highly-anticipated comic book adaptations, depending on the characters and degree of darkness in the artistic visions behind them.
While speaking with Variety about the future of the DCEU on the big screen, Emmerich opened up about the studio's willingness to greenlight an R-rated DC film sometime in the coming years, especially following the recent success of two notable R-rated comic book films from 20th Century Fox, in the forms of Deadpool and Logan:
“I would be surprised if we didn’t at some point make an R-rated DC movie."
Emmerich's comments are just further proof of how much the entire film industry's view of comic book adaptations is changing right now, likely as a direct reaction to the overwhelmingly positive successes of both Deadpool and Logan. Both of those films showed a willingness to take their characters in extreme directions that not only felt true to the characters themselves, but also provided a fresh of breath air in a genre that many worry has been becoming far too formulaic and/or generic of late.
This isn't the first time that there have been reports of Warner Bros. possibly working on or being open to making R-rated DCEU films either, but it's notable since this is the first time an actual Warner Bros. executive has confirmed the likelihood of it actually happening. Right now, the studio is in the midst of celebrating its best-received DC Comics adaptation since Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, with Wonder Woman proving to be both a critical darling and global box office hit. It's important to note that one of the biggest reasons Wonder Woman has been so well-received is because it feels quite different from the DCEU films that have come before it, while still feeling inherently connected to them. Thankfully, based on Emmerich's comments here alone, it seems as though Warner Bros. is planning on taking their DCEU films in even more diverse and non-traditional directions, moving forward.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020