The rise of the R-rated superhero film is about to break upon Hollywood. Thanks to 20th Century Fox, the entertainment industry recently discovered there is a large audience wanting to watch darker superhero stories. Films like Logan and Deadpool flipped the script on how a cinematic universe could go dark, but fans have wondered if Marvel Studios could follow in such steps. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a box office juggernaut, but its family-friendly tone doesn’t necessarily suit restricted ratings.
Still, Marvel Studios seems to be keeping R-rated films on the table. A new interview with the company’s head saw Kevin Feige stress such a movie is not out of the question.
During a chat with AlloCine (via MCU Exchange), Feige paused from promoting Spider-Man: Homecoming to address the possibility of a R-rated MCU flick. It was there the president admitted such a project could one day take shape.
“Currently, we don’t work on R-Rated movies. It’s not out of the question but currently, no,” the producer revealed.
In the past, Feige has been more tough on his dismissal of a R-rated venture in the MCU. During a talk with The Hollywood Reporter, the producer said Deadpool and Logan didn’t succeed because of their ratings but their risk-taking instead.
“My takeaway from both of those films [Deadpool and Logan] is not the R rating, it’s the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed,” Feige explained. “That should be the takeaway for everyone.”
As superhero films become more prolific, studios are now being forced to differentiate their features from others. 20th Century Fox managed to separate its recent films from the pack by embracing grittier stories. Deadpool was packed with NSFW humor while Logan featured heart-wrenching curses and visceral gore. If the MCU was able to insert that kind of adult material into a future film, the feature’s aesthetic would shift heavily from Marvel’s current modus operandi.
For now, it’s safe to say that the MCU will not be chomping at the bit to okay an R-rated feature, but the option is there. The franchise isn’t willing to turn away an opportunity without vetting its merits. If the cinematic universe has a film that will genuinely benefit from a restricted rating, fans can expected Marvel Studios to follow through with that vision. So, if you were hoping Marvel's Spider-Man flicks would forego comedy for NSFW grit, then you may want to check your priorities. If any hero is getting a R-rated big screen break, it will be the Punisher or any of Marvel’s other violent characters.
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Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine -- distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.
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