DC isn’t a stranger to R-Rated storytelling. Even before their pre-Final Crisis storyline turned pretty much every event into a superhuman abattoir, their older (and arguably more famous) stories have always seemed to target a more adult audience, even as they promoted their own more moral, archetypal heroes. Their Cinematic Universe seems to be moving down that path, especially in light of the recent announcement of an Ultimate Edition for the upcoming Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will has been rated a very hard R.
Apparently, this Ultimate Edition has already been rated in a screening by the MPAA, who chose to slap on the ‘grown-ups only’ tag in light of the movie’s very harsh ‘sequences of violence’. Of course, this is unhelpful as heck: after all, judging by the trailers alone this film is probably going to be just 150 minutes of pure superhuman fisticuffs with a lot of collateral damage involved, so what could have possibly caused the ratings board to change their minds? And more importantly, is this cut even necessary or is Warner Bros. just trying to ride on Deadpool‘s more catchy, edgier payout?
Zack Snyder isn’t exactly a newbie when it comes to darker, grimmer re-cuts. After all, his Watchmen DVD release contained a lot of content that didn’t make it on the silver screen, which served to cast more shadow across the already morally ambiguous story he was trying to tell. Perhaps the studio is attempting to give the superhero nerds a darker version of their favorite crossover, but then again, we need to ask: what exactly changed? Are we going to have runaway Kryptonians immolating pregnant women with laser beams or impromptu extinction level events halfway through the film? And once again: why is this even necessary?
Heck, there’s a ton of pretty brutal stuff you can get away with on a PG-13 rating alone. Man Of Steel had that and it featured mountains of schools and innocent bystanders being crushed under collapsing buildings, so what’s changed this time? For those thinking Warner Bros. just slipped in some shots of superhuman naughty bits you can see above that it was for sequences of violence and not nudity or sexual situations. We won’t know which fight scenes had the “R” rating punches until the film hits theaters on March 25, 2016 and the Ultimate Edition hits stands and we can all compare.