‘Black Widow’ Should Have Been R-Rated – Here’s Why

Black Widow is quickly becoming one of the all-time most anticipated films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That’s partially because the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that its original May 2020 release date was pushed back to November 2020, so we’re all overdue to find out exactly what happens next in the saga…we especially want to hear about this crazy new villain there have been rumors about!

People have been eager to see Black Widow for a long time now

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Marvel fans have been dying for Scarlett Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow to get her own film for some time, so there’s a lot riding on this release. Since Natasha’s the only woman in the OG Avengers, people also really want to see her get the kind of developed background story that all the guys have managed to get so far, too.

So why do some fans seem worried that Black Widow might not end up being all they’d hoped for? Well, one answer apparently has to do with the film’s announced PG-13 rating.

There’s been some chatter in the fandom that Black Widow should have been R-Rated

Fans think that the new film has a lot going for it. For one, they seem to love that the film is being directed by a woman, Cate Shortland, and that this strong female character is finally getting her own standalone movie.

However, fans have been pining for it to be an R-rated release since the moment it was announced. Kevin Feige even confirmed way back at the beginning of 2019 that the film was never even being considered for an R-rating, yet still rumors would surface that it was somehow going to be.

Marvel never releases  R-rated superhero movies, even if there have been other superhero stories that were rated R from other studios. According to Cinema Blend, the reason these rumors were floating around about an R-rating for Black Widow have a lot to do with how complicated the character is and the harrowing experiences that have always been part of her backstory. People think it would be really difficult for Marvel to actually pull off an accurate story in a family-friendly way.

Still, making the film rated R would be a huge change of direction for Marvel, since they do want families to feel comfortable bringing kids along to the movies with them. They wouldn’t exactly be able to do so if the movie gets too real about where Natasha Romanoff comes from, so they stuck to their guns on the PG-13 rating.

An R-rating would be better suited to the realities of Natasha’s dark past

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Natasha Romanoff has always been a nuanced character with a really complicated and dark past. From her experiences with the KGB to the violence and training she was exposed to in childhood, it’s hard to imagine how they’re going to do justice to her past without going a dark direction.

That’s yet another reason why so many fans think an R-rating would have been a sign of a more interested and developed story for this beloved character.

For instance, how will the film really be able to show any of the screwed up experiments that were done on Black Widow as a child without a bit of the horror that normally befits an R-rating? One of the reasons fans like Natasha so much is that she was exposed to so much evil and cruelty and still ended up being an Avenger, thus transforming into the ultimate kind of hero and champion of the people.

Being able to show just how traumatic and intense things were for before all that would have been a glorious way to show her redemption arc.

Since the film won’t be coming out until November 2020, we’ll all just have to wait and see what becomes of it…even if it means enjoying a slightly tamer movie than some of us might have hoped for.