After the success of R-rated superhero movies Deadpool and Logan, studios are finally realizing that comic books are a medium, not a genre, and that some arcs require more adult tellings to do their stories justice. Just kidding! They made a bunch of money on those two and are now churning out R-rated versions of every piece of IP they own with all the insight of a dog humping a stuffed animal.
For example, Sony is developing its upcoming Venom movie to be R-rated despite the fact that the titular Venom is about as edgy and violent as a flannel shirt. Venom is essentially evil Spider-Man, but has become such a tame villain that writer David Michelinie felt the need to create another villain by taking Venom and making him more murder-ey. Thus Carnage was born, whom we will discuss later. So, by giving Venom an R-rated movie, execs aren't freeing up a director with a creative vision that demands the freedom to be explicit. They're just saying, "He's gonna punch people hard. And you're gonna hear the word 'Fuck' a lot. Please like us, high schoolers of America."
Some comic adaptations need the flexibility for graphic violence, sexual content and naughty words that would make it inappropriate for all audiences. On the other hand, we don't need to see a Mighty Mouse film that features a brutal prison shanking. Unfortunately, an R-rating isn't a perfect movie cheat code that will advance you straight to the "Become Coke-Snorting Millionaires" final level. You have to weigh the merits of each adaptation based on its source material. Fortunately, we're here to help, with some handy examples of when you should slap that R-rating on your film like butter on murderpancakes.
Deadpool's One Weakness Is Standards And Practices
The movie that started the current wave of "People like the costume guys when they say the fuck word" is Deadpool. Producer and star Ryan Reynolds fought for the project to get an R because nothing else would really fit the source material. Deadpool is a dude that breaks the fourth wall even after he's been decapitated. Making flippant remarks and dirty jokes in the middle of gruesome violence is kind of his whole thing.