Until Deadpool 3 finally makes it into production and onto the big screen, which isn’t going to be for a good couple of years yet, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remain an exclusively PG-13 enterprise. After all, the approach has yielded tens of billions in box office dollars and a bulletproof status as the most popular franchise in history, so there’s literally no need for Kevin Feige and his myriad of collaborators to rock the boat too much.
A PG-13 still means you can get away with plenty of action-packed violence as long as there’s no blood being visually spilled, and the context of the superhero genre provides even more leeway given the more fantastical elements. However, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is poised to be one of the MCU’s more realistic efforts, at least in terms of the two title heroes and villain Zemo not having any demonstrable powers similar to the rest of the Avengers, and the presumed levels of violence have seen it slapped with the equivalent of an R-rating overseas.
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The second Disney Plus series lands on March 19th, and ratings boards across the world are just starting to dish out their labels, with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier being given a 16+ in the Netherlands, which is roughly the equivalent to a TV-MA or R-rating in the United States, meaning it could also be given a 15 rating in the United Kingdom.
While that’s not going to stop millions of younger viewers from watching the show, in theory it could see The Falcon and the Winter Soldier locked behind a parental control, especially with this month’s STAR expansion giving international subscribers access to huge swathes of the adult-orientated 20th Century Fox library.