A memo from the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) Classification and Rating Administration has revealed that they have given the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition” Blu Ray an R rating for “sequences of violence”. This comes in just as Deadpool is on its way to being the highest grossing R rated film of all time, and has studios considering whether or not more R rated films could be more profitable.
Now, people are understandably concerned about this, as the DC Comics films are known to be very dour. However, it is very unlikely that the R rating will come from Superman’s actions. Instead, judging by the various trailers, that additional footage will likely be due to Batman’s bone breaking fighting style. At the same time, his fighting style is not that different from what we have seen from the various Batman: Arkham games, which is known for its violence. Any other additional footage or details have yet to be announced, but it is possible that DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers Studios have been planning this director’s cut for some time. It will be sold alongside the normal PG-13 cut of the movie when the film comes out on DVD and BluRay this fall.
It should also be pointed out that a certain major Marvel film almost got an R rating as well. In Marvel’s The Avengers, the scene where Loki kills Agent Phil Coulson was originally far more graphic, with Kevin Feige saying “Well, whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.” The scene was eventually edited enough to garner a PG-13 rating, but some nations edited it even further to leave the stabbing more to the imagination. Given how skittish the MPAA was about that one scene, perhaps the R rating of the Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition will be considered an overreaction once people pop it into their BluRay players, or more likely their Playstations.
This will be a case of the consumer having to make an informed decision on whether to buy the R rated ultimate edition or the regular PG-13 version. The proof of how violent it is to get an R rating will be known this fall.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premieres March 25th.