Batman might go out of his way to try and not kill anybody, unless you’re Zack Snyder’s Dark Knight of course, but Gotham City’s nocturnal protector definitely has some serious anger issues. So far, the iconic character has remained PG-13 in live-action, but it wouldn’t be too difficult for a filmmaker to push the boundaries given that the entire concept revolves around a vigilante who beats the criminal underworld to a pulp with his bare hands.
R-rated superhero blockbusters were always viewed as a risky proposition, though, and Birds of Prey showed that a few swear words and some extra lashings of blood probably weren’t worth alienating a large section of the audience in the long run, but over the last few years, older viewers have eaten them up. Four of the six highest-grossing R-rated movies in history are Fox’s Deadpool duology, Logan and Joker, all comic book adaptations that have released fairly recently.
The Dark Knight’s last two solo outings raked in over a billion dollars each, and while that might be an unfair standard to live up to, Warner Bros. will still be expecting Matt Reeves’ The Batman to pull in a hefty chunk of change nonetheless. However, insider Daniel Richtman now claims that the studio are considering the possibility of slapping the reboot with an R-rating, but nothing has been decided on just yet.
While you can understand The Suicide Squad being R-rated, it’d certainly be surprising to see WB go the same route with The Batman. After all, Bruce Wayne is arguably the crown jewel in the studio’s portfolio and people from the ages of 8 to 80 are big fans of the Caped Crusader. And with next year’s HBO Max release model also guaranteeing a huge drop in box office earnings, Robert Pattinson’s debut under the cape and cowl will be looking to target the largest possible audience when it arrives in March 2022.