Streaming exclusives tend to get more leeway in what they can present onscreen; whether it is increased violence, strong profanity, or an extended running time. Even if Zack Snyder hadn’t departed the project, would Warner Bros. ever realistically considered releasing Justice League as a four-hour R-rated blockbuster? Absolutely no chance.
In fact, the DCEU’s adult-orientated efforts haven’t yielded the greatest returns for the franchise thus far. Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad were both warmly embraced by critics, but flopped at the box office. On the plus side, James Gunn’s riotous comic book adaptation at least had the pandemic to blame, whereas Margot Robbie’s solo spinoff did not.
You’d have to assume that John Cena’s Peacemaker series will retain the anarchic tone and graphic nature of its narrative predecessor, while we’re hearing from sources — the same ones who told us Ben Affleck was returning as Batman in The Flash long before it was confirmed — that Black Canary could end up following suit.
All we know about the project, so far, is that Jurnee Smollett will be returning as Birds of Prey‘s Dinah Lance, with Lovecraft Country‘s Misha Green set to pen the script. Her last live-action outing was R-rated, and there’s reason to believe her solo adventure will continue in that vein, even if some of the HBO Max slate will almost certainly be PG-13.
Either way, fans never give up on getting more from Cathy Yan’s cult favorite, so Black Canary is guaranteed some strong viewership numbers regardless of the rating.