The MCU Doesn’t Need R-Ratings to Make Good Movies, Most Fans Agree

When you get certain fans talking about upcoming superhero movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they often ask “Is it going to be dark?”

Some fans favor the dim and often gloomy to brightly colored and upbeat. They tend to favor Batman and would love to see an R-rated superhero movie. 

There have been a handful of those, including the Deadpool movies and Logan, and all of those were very successful financially and artistically. However, the biggest Goliath in all of moviedom, to say nothing of the superhero genre, is the MCU.

Most of those 23 movies have been phenomenally successful, and none of them has crested the PG-13 rating. Some fans don’t think they need to. 

What R-rated comic book movies there have been?

Kevin Feige speaks onstage
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

RELATED: Why There Will Probably Never Be an R-Rated MCU Film

There have actually been quite a few R-rated movies based on graphic novels, such as 300 and Road to Perdition, but people tend not to think of those in the same breath as they do the MCU movies and the DCEU movies. If you’re talking about superhero movies, that narrows down the list quite a bit. 

Aside from the aforementioned Logan and Deadpool movies, according to this IMDb list, there has also been The Punisher, The Watchmen, Constantine, The Crow, Kick-Ass, Conan the Barbarian, and the Blade movies. With a few exceptions, however, none of these movies have been extraordinarily successful. 

Studios often believe that’s because of the R-rating. Modern superhero movies usually cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, to say nothing of marketing, and Hollywood studios are wary of making a superhero movie with a rating that would force theater owners to turn ticket-buyers away. Whether some fans like to admit it or not, superhero movies attract family audiences with young kids. In that light, an R-rating simply won’t do. 

What do fans say about the MCU and R-ratings? 

On Reddit, a topic-starter suggested Marvel should start making both R and PG-13 films, arguing, “They can simply release movies that are R-rated, and also a PG-13 version of that specific like FOX did with Deadpool 2 and Once Upon A Deadpool.

It isn’t even much work to do, they simply film the R rated version of a movie and then just edit some parts where there is too much blood or whatever is too graphic. They can edit those scenes into PG-13 scenes. Problem solved.”

However, a number of fans thought that wasn’t really necessary, saying the movies are great as they are. One went so far as to say, “I don’t see much of a debate about this. Most people aren’t all that concerned by the lack of R rated content.”

But another fan disputed that notion, saying, “I think if Marvel Studios were to take a stab at R-rated flicks, they’d do well. Lesser comic film universes have done it, and also managed well. Fox with Deadpool and Logan, DC with Joker and Birds of Prey  (which I thought was great, pity it underperformed) Blade, Kingsman, etc.

Will Deadpool bring the F-bomb to the MCU?

RELATED: Deadpool and Wolverine to Team Up for R-Rated ‘Buddy’ Movie: Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman to Star?

If anyone brings the R-rating into the pool, it would almost certainly be the Merc with a Mouth. Both of the Deadpool movies were big hits. The folks behind the Deadpool movies, and Marvel chief Kevin Feige have all said that Deadpool wouldn’t be Deadpool if he weren’t R-rated. However, the third movie seems to be in limbo at the moment

There may be another contender, though. Last summer at Comic-Con, Marvel made a show of introducing Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Green Book) as the new Blade, but offered no other details about the movie – certainly not a release date, even though the rest of Marvel’s Phase 4 was announced at that time.

Thing was, the Blade movies with Wesley Snipes were rated R, so would the MCU’s be too?

Only time will tell. There’s a first time for just about everything in the comic book world, and an R-rated MCU movie will probably happen at some point. For now, Marvel is mainly concerned about restarting its stalled slate, with nary an R-rated project to be found.