For the first time in six years, Disney will be releasing an R-rated comedy: Stuber. It might come as a surprise to some, considering the House of Mouse associating itself with anything not overtly family-friendly seems odd. But this isn't the first time Disney has released an R-rated film and chances are good it won't be the last time either.
When it comes to R-rated movies, Disney's attitude on them has been (unsurprisingly) not warm. Disney distributed films have, at best, earned a PG-13 rating for releases like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. But that doesn't mean Disney has never developed a film and released it with an R-rating; they've released movies targeted at an adult audience through other studios, including Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Pictures, and now, Fox.
Following their acquisition deal in March 2019, Disney is going to be releasing Fox movies completed or in-production before the deal finished, and that means they are distributors of Stuber, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, out July 12, 2019. The film follows mild-mannered Uber driver Stu (Nanjiani) and his fare, L.A. cop Vic (Bautista) as they go all over the city so Vic can complete one of his cases. The buddy cop-esque comedy earned its R-rating for violence and language throughout as well as some sexual references and brief nudity - all things not traditionally Disney-approved.
As a result, Stuber holds the distinction of being Disney's first R-rated release since 2013 when the studio also released The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch in association with Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures. Other previous Disney-Touchstone releases include The Gangs of New York and Apocalypto.
Other Fox films that Disney is set to release include Ford v Ferrari, Ad Astra, Taika Waititi's satire Jojo Rabbit and the Noah Hawley-directed Lucy in the Sky starring Natalie Portman. None of these movies have rating yet, but the subject matter of all could see them receiving an R. If this is the case, then Disney will be released at least one more R-rated film in the next year or two.
Despite this development, Disney likely doesn't have plans to create and release its own R-rated films under its own name, and it's unclear how newly-developed projects at Fox will be handled. As for valuable Fox franchises like Deadpool and the planned third Kingsman sequel, the jury is still out on whether Disney will adjust aspects of the film to meet a PG-13 rating or continues with them as they were before the deal.
- Stuber (2019) release date: Jul 12, 2019