While plenty of R-rated comic book movies have been released throughout the decades, none of them managed to reach blockbuster status. Only a couple made over $400 million worldwide (300 and the surprise hit Kingsman: The Secret Service). Not even the highly entertaining and controversial Kick-Ass broke the $100 million mark.
But then Deadpool happened. It grossed $783 million worldwide, without even being released in China. This could have been considered a fluke, but Logan made $440 million worldwide in less than two weeks, proving that R-rated comic book movies really do work. And it proved something more: Those who enjoyed the PG-13 X-Men and Spider-Man trilogies of the 2000's have matured, and they’re interested in something other than what Marvel and Disney, for example, have to offer.
There are quite a few projects out there that are rumored to merit R ratings. And they should - a smaller budget means that the creative teams have more freedom to come up with compelling stories, as Logan did.
Which future comic book movies should be rated R? Well, check it out!
After proving that they couldn’t handle a modern Spider-Man franchise, and after making a deal with Marvel in relation to the character, Sony promptly announced that they intended to create another shared universe, to be based on the Valiant Bloodshot comics. And so a five-movie deal was made with Valiant, and the first film was slated for 2017.
But here we are in 2017, and the movie hasn't even started preproduction. It’s also lost its directors (John Wick's Chad Stahelski and David Leitch). Nonetheless, the studio still says that the movie will happen, although they haven’t said when.
Given his background (a highly trained soldier, with all sorts of abilities derived from the nanites injected in his blood), Bloodshot deserves a movie aimed at mature audiences. We believe that Sony doesn't really want to invest Amazing Spider-Man 2 amounts of money in it, only to end up disappointed.
And since Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service) is producing the movie, it might actually happen. When? We have no idea.
A Death in the Family
Since Ben Affleck has stepped down from directing the Batman reboot, we’ll have to wait until at least 2019 to see the first DCEU Dark Knight solo movie. And, as new director Matt Reeves might have implied, we’ll get to see a different version of the Caped Crusader than the one Zack Snyder presented. Does this mean that we'll have a soft reboot of the DCEU soon? We might"¦
Snyder hinted at a possible story line in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - A Death in the Family. And it could work as a prequel in the DCEU, especially since it includes the most insane version of the Joker. Jared Leto's portrayal was controversial, to say the least, but he could still do wonders with the role.
And killing Jason Todd in a brutal manner fits this kind of portrayal. Just like everything after it. However, will Warner Bros. renounce the sweet money coming with the merchandise just to make a proper adaptation of a comic book story line? It’s less than likely. However, there’s hope, especially if the rumors that Matt Reeves has full control over the movie are true.
Nah"¦It won't happen. This new brutal Batman and insane Joker will still star in PG-13 movies.
X-Force will happen. Although fans weren't that impressed a couple of years ago, it seems to be one of the most anticipated of the upcoming 20th Century Fox movies. Correction: One of the most anticipated comic book movies ever, because of Deadpool and Logan, which were both produced by the same studio.
And we already know that Cable will join Deadpool in the X-Force movie, basically making it Deadpool 3 and Friends.
And there’s one more thing: Wolverine might join them. Sure, Logan ended the way it ended. However, X-Force won't take place in the future (or, at least, later than Logan’s 2029). So we could possibly be surprised. At this point, we’re asking, So what if the timeline becomes even more nonsensical?
Will it be rated R? Well, here’s the problem: With so many characters, Fox will have to increase the movie’s budget. And an R rating will make it harder to recover this budget.
But we can only hope. Out of all the movies on this list, X-Force has the greatest chance of earning an R rating.
In a world in which a Dredd sequel hasn't been greenlighted (and, in all likelihood, won't be greenlighted) we do need someone like Judge Dredd to bring some justice. The 2012 reboot starring Karl Urban wasn't heavy on plot, but it hit all the right spots. Sure, it lost money, but that was mainly because of a lackluster marketing campaign.
Maybe a sequel will be made. The first movie cost around $50 million, and the same amount should go into the second one. We’re certain that it could make that amount with the right people advertising it.
It's a bit weird to talk about a reboot at this moment - and we’re certain that the thought hasn't even crossed the minds of the powers that be. But even a reboot could work. With this kind of budget and the right marketing, an R-rated Judge Dredd wouldn't disappoint anyone.
Blade was one of the R-rated trilogies we talked about in the beginning of this list. Sure, Blade: Trinity (with Ryan Reynolds, who did try quite a few comic book movies) was a dud, but the two previous films were quite entertaining. So it’s no wonder the franchise hasn't been rebooted yet. At one time, even Wesley Snipes campaigned for a reboot, but it didn't happen.
However, it was revealed that there was some discussion about the property. And, if we’re to believe the rumors, there are big plans for Blade.
How big? Well, it’s unlikely that Marvel will include this violent anti-hero in the big-screen MCU without a PG-13 rating. Which is a shame. However – and this is the exception on this list – Netflix's corner of the shared universe is the perfect dark place for Blade to happen.
Let's be honest. A big-screen Marvel vampire flick without the blood seems absurd. However, Blade would feel right at home on the small screen, which is where the studio finally got Punisher right. Just imagine how Frank Castle would have been, sharing screen time with the righteous Captain America in a movie, and you’ll know why Blade doesn't belong there.
Justice League Dark
As Warner Bros. has planned it, the DCEU is all over the place, in the sense that it’s pretty chaotic. Movies are announced, delayed, or even completely scrapped (as it’s rumored about Cyborg). But maybe not having a plan is…the plan.
We do know that Guillermo del Toro has been working on a script for Justice League Dark since 2012, and he plans to direct it, as well. He was forced to drop the project in 2015, but the script remained with Warner Bros., and they’ve since revised it. Then the studio announced that they considered Justice League Dark a priority. Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow), who was previously attached to direct Gambit, was announced to helm the movie.
What are the chances that it will be rated R? Well, they’re quite good, given the supernatural nature of the characters. Furthermore, it’s not as if they’re as well-known as, say, Batman and Superman. So Warner Bros. might give it a try.
As far as we’re concerned, a Dark Universe in the DCEU (which is already dark) sounds good. But it needs to be really dark. R-rated kind of dark"¦
Nemesis is a comic book created by Mark Millar (creator of Kick-Ass and The Secret Service) and published by Icon of Marvel Comics. And Nemesis, the supervillain persona of Matt Anderson, is basically the anti-Batman. As Millar said, What if Batman was the Joker, a highly trained and highly resourceful psychopathic killer?
It’s interesting that 20th Century Fox (yes, the studio that scored it big with Logan and Deadpool) has had the rights for the movie since 2010, when they began writing the script. Tony Scott (True Romance, Man on Fire) was attached to direct (and even started working on it with his company), but he died in 2012.
In 2013, Mark Millar said that he’d read the script, and it was very good. He added that the movie would be made, and it would be massive if Kingsman: The Secret Service performed well at the box office. As it turned out, Kingsman exceeded all expectations.
In August 2015, Warner Bros. announced that Nemesis would be made. And since then"¦
So will Warner Bros. make it R-rated? If the movie is made, it will certainly be intended for mature audiences. After all, this is a relatively unknown comic book from Mark Millar, and his hyper-violent comics always work well with R-ratings.
Did you believe that The Rock would play the Main Man? Well, everybody did when Dwayne Johnson started teasing a DCEU role. As it turned out, he was supposed to play Black Adam, not Lobo.
In 2009, Warner Bros. encouraged the rumors by announcing that Guy Ritchie would direct a Lobo flick. Thankfully, it never happened, because it was supposed to be rated PG-13. And Lobo is one violent guy who requires a proper rating.
So what happened next? Actually, for quite a while, nothing at all. In 2016, Jason Fuchs (Pan and Wonder Woman) announced that he was writing the script for Lobo. What else can be said? Unlike Justice League Dark, Lobo isn't a priority for Warner Bros.
Nonetheless, if this movie is made, it needs to be R-rated in the same way that Deadpool needed to be. So Warner Bros. should either do it right or postpone it indefinitely.
Spawn was a popular comic book anti-hero during the 1990s, so they made a movie about him with Michael Jay White in the starring role. It was battered both by critics and at the box office, but we’re fairly sure that it wasn't because of how it was rated.
Let's be clear, a movie about a hellspawn should be rated R, and the 1997 film did have such a rating (Yeah, the main antagonist was also called Violator, so go figure).
Creator Todd McFarlane has said more than once that a movie would be made. There were indeed talks about a sequel in 1998, and a reboot was planned in 2007. Most recently, McFarlane reiterated that Spawn would happen and it would be a hard R.
Will it happen, though? We’re asking because, well, there must be a reason for its 10-year wait in development hell. It will probably be made, and it will definitely be rated R. As Logan and Deadpool have demonstrated, R-rated comic book movies can work very well, both critically and at the box office.
A Serious House on Serious Earth
Lastly, we come back to Batman’s first solo outing in the DCEU. We know that we’ve said that there’s almost no chance that Warner Bros. will jump on the R-rated comic book movie bandwagon with such a property. But still…one can dream, right?
A Serious House on Serious Earth is another excellent Batman story line that could only be adapted for a mature audience. We’re looking at it because Ben Affleck said that the first Batman solo flick would feature a multitude of villains from Batman's rogues gallery. And we’re looking at it because that warehouse scene from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed to have been taken straight out of the Batman: Arkham series.
Just imagine The Raid (or Dredd, if you will) with a violent Batman as the hero and villains like Bane, Killer Croc (a proper Killer Croc, of course), Clayface, and so on. Sounds enticing, right?
Well, one can dream"¦