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Joker Officially Rated R For Disturbing Behavior, Violence & More

Joker Joaquin Phoenix

Todd Phillips' Joker has officially been rated R for reasons that include disturbing behavior, strong violence, and more. When a standalone Joker movie completely disconnected from the established DCEU was initially announced, it was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. The conversation surrounding the film turned in a much more positive direction earlier this year when the first trailer debuted. Evoking Martin Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver and The King of ComedyJoker looked to be one of the more unique and fascinating comic book movies in recent memory.

One way Joker was planning to stand out from the crowd is by gunning for an R rating. There have been R-rated comic book adaptations in the past, like Deadpool and Logan, but they're still few and far between as many aim for the more accessible PG-13 classification. Since Joker isn't part of an overarching shared universe, it didn't have to worry about meeting any four-quadrant requirements, and now it's officially confirmed this one is for the adult crowd.

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The official Joker site has been updated to mention the film is now rated R by the MPAA. It earned that R rating for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images.

Just based on the trailer, star Joaquin Phoenix looked to be giving a captivating and unhinged performance, so it'll be interesting to see how far he and Phillips went with the Joker's madness. Considering the MPAA singled out "disturbing behavior" in their explanation, it would appear the Clown Prince of Crime holds nothing back as he terrorizes Gotham. Depending on how extreme the material is, Joker has the potential to be a very polarizing work that incites heated discussions and debates. Based on the rating, there will more than likely be sequences that make audiences feel uncomfortable, which could impact word-of-mouth once Joker opens in October. It doesn't sound like Phillips played anything safe, which is one of the benefits of doing a project like this.

Fortunately for fans, it won't be much longer until the verdict on Joker comes in. The film will have its world premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, as Warner Bros. positions it for a possible Oscar run. They seem to be very confident in what they have, as Phillips recently teased the possibility of a sequel. Much like how Venom found an audience last year despite the divided reviews, perhaps Joker will appeal to moviegoers in the mood for a different kind of comic book movie. Right now, Joker is poised to have a great opening weekend at the box office, so it seems to be in good shape.

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Source: Joker Official Website

Key Release Dates
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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