Several years ago, the notion of an R-rated Marvel movie would have verged on wishful thinking. But with the über-popular MCU fast approaching its 10th anniversary and Disney now in control of Fox, a hard-R Marvel flick is within arm’s reach of becoming a reality. Seriously.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said as much during his call to investors late last month, when he also teased plans to weave the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four into the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s something that likely won’t take shape for another two-to-three years, meaning the MCU will be largely unaffected as it ramps up for the super-sized Avengers 4 in 2019.
But circling back to a potential R-rated effort from Marvel Studios, with Black Widow now having been confirmed to be receiving her very own solo movie, speculation is running rampant that the pic will also act as the franchise’s first venture into restricted territory. Again, this is purely speculation, but when you think about it, it’d make an awful lot of sense.
For starters, those who’ve read the comics will know that there’s plenty of material on the page that would lend itself to a more mature movie, while films like Atomic Blonde have proven that there’s an appetite out there for badass female spies kicking ass in brutal fashion on the big screen. Not to mention that Lucy proved Scarlett Johansson can pull off grittier action than what we’ve seen in the MCU to date.
Truth be told, we can only hope that the studio makes the right move here and goes for an R-rated affair. After all, the likes of Daredevil and the Punisher, two characters perfectly suited to restricted films, have been relegated to Netflix series, with Blade collecting dust all the while. And even though the daywalking vampire hunter never made the billion dollar club, it’s important we not forget the vital part he played in legitimizing comic book cinema.
In other words, Marvel Studios needs to start taking advantage of all the opportunities they have to produce compelling, R-rated superhero movies, and Black Widow would be the perfect place to begin doing that.