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Here we go again with that hot topic of violence in movies. While slapping a hard R-rating on the likes of #Deadpool and #Logan was a stroke of genius for Fox, the other film studios have been a little slower on the uptake on diversifying their movies into darker territory. Now Warner Bros. is the latest #superhero powerhouse to throw its hat into the ring by teasing the arrival of R-rated romps for the #DCEU.
The likes of Nightwing, a Lobo adaptation, or even more Watchmen would all perfectly fit the R-rated mould, but it is just a case of someone taking that leap. It is also an almost impossibly long shot, but even #JossWhedon's upcoming #Batgirl has a grim enough #comicbook source to hit a hard R. We have already seen Whedon give us the gloriously gory Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and while Barbara Gordon will almost certainly be touting a family-friendly rating, can you just imagine the record-breaking potential of an R-rated female-first superhero film?
'R' you listening?
In March 2017, New Line Cinema veteran Toby Emmerich was elevated to the lofty position of Chief Operating Officer for Warner Bros. While the studio may have other big franchises like Harry Potter and the Legoverse, there is no denying that a lot of its eggs are in the proverbial DC basket. Keen to snare the hype around a more violent era of heroes and villains, Emmerich revealed to Variety that dark times could be just around the corner:
“I would be surprised if we didn’t at some point make an R-rated DC movie."
To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to learn a project is already in the pipeline. Emmerich went on to say that he admires "violent, irreverent, and more adult comic book movies," before name dropping Logan and Deadpool.
If anything, an R-rated smörgåsbord could further help the DCEU play catch-up to its biggest rival, the #MCU. While Kevin Feige has repeatedly confirmed that the wholesome Disney studio won't be bringing any "adult" Marvel stories to their production slate, Warner Bros.' darker take on our heroes is crying out for some much needed blood 'n' guts.
The Darkest Knight
Sony already looks to be pushing ahead with uber-violent fodder like Venom and Silver and Black, while Fox is still sitting pretty thanks to Logan and Deadpool. Given the success of the first Deadpool, David Leitch's upcoming sequel about the Merc with the Mouth will hopefully follow suit, then push more studios toward redressing their outlook on R-rated movies in the superhero sector.
Warner Bros. has already shown itself to be so close and yet so far. #DavidAyer's #SuicideSquad got caught somewhere in the middle of violence and comedy, but ultimately lost all sense of humor amidst Cara Delevingne's wavy dancing and a pop art Joker. In early stages of development, Suicide Squad was tipped for an R, and I personally think that Warner Bros. really missed a trick there. If you can't turn a team of dispensable supervillains with exploding heads into an R-rated masterpiece, then what can you do?
As for moving forward with an even darker take on the Dark Knight and co., the sooner the better. Sure, some may argue that it is just a case of the DCEU jumping on the bandwagon, but we must have learned from the mistakes of comic book beat 'em ups like Sin City, Watchmen, and 300. All of the above had their pros and cons, but all divided critics immensely at a time when we probably weren't ready for R-rated comic book movies.
Warner Bros. is already more than happy to bring the violence in its animated form, but recent cartoon run-ins with Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League Dark have also failed to light the fires of hope for audiences. All the live-action DCEU needs is someone with a little faith and we could open the floodgates to a whole world of exploding vibrators, bowel disruptors, and jackhammer dildos. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!