James Gunn knows a thing or two about helming comic book adaptations for the industry’s biggest superhero franchises, having worked exclusively in the genre as a director for the last seven years by helming a pair of Guardians of the Galaxy epics for Marvel Studios before jumping ship to DC and tackling The Suicide Squad, with production on Guardians Vol. 3 scheduled to begin by the time 2021 is out after he was rehired for the job.
On paper, there are plenty of similarities between the two properties given that they both focus on a dysfunctional band of misfits, thieves and rascals who team up to pull off a seemingly impossible job, forging a makeshift family unit in the process. Of course, one very noticeable difference is that The Suicide Squad is R-rated to the max, packed with blood, guts, exploding heads, dismemberment, profanity and even full frontal male nudity.
That simply wouldn’t fly under the family friendly flag of Marvel Studios, but in a new interview Gunn stated his belief that the MCU will eventually start churning out R-rated movies.
“I think they will, I think they will, I’m almost sure they will. Not Guardians though, because Guardians are family movies, so it’s different. People are like, ‘Finally, they let you do R rating. What would Guardians be like if that was R rated?’. I’m like, ‘But it’s not’. I could go off and make a Drax movie that’s R-rated, that I would love to do, like barbarian Drax. But the Guardians movies are fables, and I don’t think of them like that. I don’t write them like that. It’s a different type of movie, and you can have some gore and some scary darkness in there and things like that, which is good, but it’s not the rock and roll of Suicide Squad.”
It’s already on the cards thanks to Deadpool 3, but Kevin Feige did outline why Ryan Reynolds’ return as the Merc with a Mouth would be the only project on the docket skewing towards older audiences. Some fans were miffed when it was revealed Mahershala Ali’s Blade reboot was going to be a PG-13 endeavor, but at the moment there isn’t much that jumps out as justifying an R-rated MCU project with the notable exception of the Punisher.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, then, but as the MCU continues to expand on multiple fronts, maybe more adult content will organically make its way into the mythology.