Considering the content of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Suicide Squad movie and the fact that nearly the entire cast is composed of bad guys with serious mental issues and a penchant for murder, one might think that an R rating would be a given. But that appears to not be the case. The powers-that-be are cutting back enough so that Suicide Squad will make PG-13 and be more accessible to a wider audience. In fact, according to producer Charles Roven, the execs at WB plan on keeping their entire DC Universe within the boundaries of the PG-13. Scroll on to hear what he has to say about ratings as well as how director David Ayer’s passion was instrumental in getting the ball rolling on this project in the first place.
While talking to Collider, Roven had these words to say about Ayer’s ultimate vision for the film:
“He had a close relationship with [Warner Bros. executive] Greg Silverman and Greg said, ‘He’s got an idea on Suicide Squad, he wants to come in and pitch it.’ Having a guy like that who’s been able to—all of his films have had a certain level of groundedness to them, really feeling very richly real. And so having that sensibility, which is along the lines of what we were talking about earlier how we like to have things grounded in science or whatever, I was very anxious to hear what his take was gonna be on Suicide Squad and I was very happily surprised, but it was right exactly in the pocket that we were looking for. Honestly that movie was essentially greenlit in the pitch meeting.
“…So David was very fresh off the heels of a movie that he could show called Fury, which was a fabulous picture, and he was able to talk about these really—as he says ‘it can be fun to be bad’ and ‘just because they’re bad doesn’t mean they’re evil’, and so he was able to convince all of the actors that we went out to that he was gonna be able to make these characters so compelling that they would wanna be played more than once by these actors.”
So it sounds like without Ayer, Suicide Squad would have never even made it to pre-production. The fact that he was eloquent enough to convince such a diverse array of talented actors, from Will Smith to Jared Leto, to jump onboard the project with the potential of making even more films in the future is a hopeful sign. Perhaps this is one of the DC movies that will blow us away and get us geared up for the entire WB/DC line-up?
Still, one might think that an R rating would be more appropriate for a movie based around the actions of a group of super villains. But, according to Roven, there will never be an R rating in the WB/DC universe. Here’s what he had to say on that:
“The intention of the film is definitely to be PG-13… We really want to make these films tonally consistent so that, as I said because this is a shared universe, at least our current thinking—and again, we’re not dealing in absolutes because while this is business it’s also a creative endeavor, so you want to leave yourself open to changing your mind, doing something different, being inspired, that’s the whole process of filmmaking is you have to allow for inspiration as well as having a road map for what you’re gonna do. So our plan right now is to make all these films PG-13. In some cases, you know, right there on the edge of PG-13, but still PG-13.”
Given that Suicide Squad is reported to have cost more than $100 million, the safe bet is definitely to keep it accessible to as many people as possible. And considering that the PG-13 of today is more like the R of 15 years ago, they can get away with quite a bit. Hell, we see things on television shows such as The Walking Dead that would have garnered an X rating back in the day. So there’s no need to panic and think that PG-13 means “villain light”.
But we can all find out for ourselves exactly how it will pan out when Suicide Squad drops on August 5th of next year.
What say the Nerd Readers? Do you have confidence this movie will fly while kept under the constraints of a PG-13 rating? Are you hoping that a director’s cut eventually shows us all the blood and violent madness that Suicide Squad has the potential to bring?