With the ridiculous, record-smashing success of Deadpool, many expected the tides of superhero movies to change. The film proved that R-rated adventures can indeed equal box office gold, and so the prevailing thought was that studios would begin greenlighting more adult oriented cape flicks. But while an R-rated cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently got approved by Warner Bros., don’t expect DC Comics’ other 2016 movie to go hard in the theaters.
Suicide Squad producer Charles Roven was asked by EW if the film would be targeting an R rating for its theatrical release, but he shot the prospect down. “I think right now we’re going for the PG-13. I don’t know that that’s going to materially change,” he said. “We can give that movie the edge that it needs and still maintain a PG-13.”
Of course, this makes a lot of sense when taking into account the budgetary differences between Deadpool and SS. The Fox/Marvel production was made for a relatively paltry $60 million and didn’t need to break records to break bank. Warner Bros./DC’s bad guy romp, however, reportedly clocked in at $250 million (thanks, Will Smith), and keeping it at PG-13 will allow it to more easily turn a profit.
Elsewhere in the EW piece, BvS director Zack Snyder talked about the planned R-rated director’s cut. He said it will run longer than the 2:31 theatrical runtime (more like 2:22 if you don’t count credits). Some of that added length will come from cameos that were cut from the final version of the film. A long speculated character played by Jena Malone was scrapped, but she will appear in the extended edition. “She’s definitely not Robin or Batgirl,” Snyder said of the character’s identity. “I’m happy to say that.” Other cameos in the director’s cut will include Green Bay Packers running back Ahman Green and bodybuilder C.T. Fletcher.
Additions will also include Easter Eggs that will hint at “what’s gonna go on in the greater Justice League universe,” Snyder added. But all these cameos and teases do not an R rating make. Roven said that much of what will push the home release over the ratings edge will be intense “sequences of violence,” as the MPAA puts it. “There’s not a lot of blood in our movies,” Roven explained. “The ratings board also judges their PG-13 and R ratings by what they consider to be a level of intensity and how much that intensity goes throughout the entire movie. There are some pretty intense scenes in Batman v Superman, and if they went on longer and had that same level of intensity, that might cause the ratings board to shift their rating.”
While Suicide Squad will remain PG-13 in the theaters, there’s no word yet on whether it’ll take the BvS route and have a separate R-rated home release. Watch the latest trailer for the teen-friendly supervillain team-up below, and look for it in theaters beginning August 5th.