R-rated superhero films are quite popular right now, following the success of both Deadpool and Logan. A recent poll even showed that more superhero fans want R-rated fare, and with the box office takes of 20th Century Fox's recent solo mutant outings, as well as the worldwide gross of Kingsman: The Secret Service, it seems fans are willing to open up their wallets to more mature comic book-inspired entertainment.
After this past weekend, especially, it should come as no surprise to learn certain studios are less concerned about the R-rating keeping audiences away. While Fox has only begun to expand its R-rated comic book film slate with Deadpool 2 and X-Force, it appears Warner Bros. may be interested in going the restricted route as well.
According to The Wrap, the studio has seen the success of Fox and has been inspired to follow suit. There is no official word on what characters or projects could get the R-rated treatment, only that there is interest with The Wrap's source saying, "One hundred percent yes. With the right character(s)."
To a certain extent, Warner Bros. has already released R-rated films, having delivered an R-rated extended cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Much to the studio's delight no doubt, the Ultimate Cut was well received by fans, suggesting the studio was right in releasing it, and perhaps missed an opportunity in not making that version the one released in theaters.
As far as which character would best fit in an R-rated DCEU film, a clear choice would be Lobo, which is currently in development. Thanks to the character's penchant for extreme violence, he would be a natural fit for an R-rating. More of a cult character than one of DC's mainstays, an R-rated Lobo film would also be well-suited to the restrictions of the reduced budget that would likely come with the restricted rating, giving the film a chance to succeed financially as well.
As far as the rest of the DCEU is concerned, other R-rated contenders could include Aquaman, given James Wan's background in horror, as well as Black Adam, if that's how Dwayne Johnson envisions the film. There is also the possibility of Suicide Squad 2 shifting to a more mature feel, especially if Mel Gibson signs on to direct. Clearly, if Warner Bros. is serious about making an R-rated adventure within the DCEU, the studio won't be lacking for options.
Source: The Wrap
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018