R-Rated Superhero Movies Have One Major Benefit No One’s Realized Explains DC Director

James Mangold, an upcoming director for the DC Universe, has outlined what he believes is the main benefit of crafting an R-rated superhero movie. Mangold is no stranger to the superhero cinema landscape after creating The Wolverine and Logan for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, the latter of which was R-rated. With Mangold expected to write and direct Swamp Thing for the DC Universe, the filmmaker’s view on R-ratings in superhero cinema has been shared after his experience on Logan.

During an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast while promoting Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Mangold was asked whether any conversations for an R-rating have happened between Mangold and Gunn for the upcoming DC Swamp Thing movie. Despite insisting he and Gunn have not spoken about an R-rating as of yet, Mangold went on to give his thoughts on the benefits of such in superhero cinema:

“…my favorite thing about rated R isn’t that I can say f*** or that we could show naked people or more blood … it changes the way the script is perceived … early on in [Logan] there’s a, I think it’s almost an eight-minute scene between Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman inside that water tower. You can’t do an 8-minute scene between two men over 40, entirely dialogue, one of them in a wheelchair talking about their past in a movie that’s designed for [younger viewers]… Your studio is going to go ‘I don’t know, Fast X seems like it’s speaking more my language… The rating suddenly creates tremendous space even if you’re not using the rating for what it’s designed for.”

This is certainly a refreshing take from Mangold, as most directors would likely relish the ability to make superhero films more adult through gore, violence, and stronger language. As Mangold points out though, he sees the main benefit of an R-rating as how it impacts the storytelling. While nudity, stronger language, and hyper-stylized violence come naturally in R-rated superhero films, the ability to include dialogue-heavy, character-driven scenes is something that studios are more likely to approve of with an R-rating that appeals more to older audiences.

How Marvel And DC Are Planning To Use R-Rated Movies Moving Forward

Deadpool holding his face in his hands and official Swamp Thing artwork for the DCU

These comments from Mangold highlight the fact that both Marvel and DC have been more open to R-rated movies in recent years. When concerning DC, releases like Birds of Prey, The Suicide Squad, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League were all rated R. Due to Gunn writing and directing The Suicide Squad, it is clear the filmmaker is open to R-rated superhero films, something that will likely be evident going into “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters” of the DCU. James Mangold’s Swamp Thing seems a likely candidate for an R-rating, even if the rating has not been spoken about between Gunn and Mangold just yet.

With Marvel Studios, there is at least one confirmed upcoming R-rated project. That project is Deadpool 3, which Marvel Studios have committed to releasing with an R-rating to keep the tone and feel of Fox’s film franchise the same, despite the character’s transition to the MCU. Outside of this film though, it is unclear whether Marvel Studios will continue to play with R-ratings, though with many fans calling for more serious, grounded stories from the studio, Mangold’s comments could prove why the DC Universe’s main competitors should dabble with more adult ratings.

Source: Happy Sad Confused

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