James Gunn has officially confirmed that The Suicide Squad will be R-rated. The film, a hybrid sequel/remake of 2016’s critically panned Suicide Squad, has been the subject of much speculation since it was first announced. While the shadow of its predecessor still looms over the new project, fans have been given reason to hope that Gunn’s take on the supervillain team will finally get it right.
While Gunn and others have emphasized that the new movie is more than simply a remake of the first, in many ways it seems like a do-over. Leading cast members from the original film like Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang) and Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) are all reprising their roles for The Suicide Squad. That familiar cast will be joined by new faces like Idris Elba (Bloodsport), Nathan Fillion (TDK) and John Cena (Peacemaker).
James Gunn has now released another tidbit about the upcoming film – The Suicide Squad will be rated R. It has long been speculated the movie would receive an R-rating, making it only the second R-rated movie for the DCEU after Birds of Prey. Gunn confirmed The Suicide Squad‘s rating on Twitter, responding to a fan’s question about the film’s rating by saying, “Yes it’s rated R.” Check out Gunn‘s tweet, below:
While Gunn has found success in the more family-friendly superhero realm with Guardians of the Galaxy, an R-rating seems like a step in the right direction for The Suicide Squad. The comic’s combination of strong violence and irreverent humor puts it in more in the category of Deadpool, a franchise whose own film adaptations have achieved immense success with R-ratings. While more cursing and blood isn’t a guaranteed path to a better film, the extra freedom could be exactly what the new movie needs to fix its predecessor’s mistakes.
In addition to being one of DC’s biggest upcoming releases, The Suicide Squad will play a significant role in the transmedia expansion of the DCEU. A spinoff show starring Cena’s Peacemaker is in the works for HBO Max, and it will be the first such series to officially be set in the DCEU. The announcement of the film’s R-rating could suggest an equally adult-oriented style for Peacemaker, opening the door for more mature content from DC going forward as streaming becomes increasingly central to the franchise’s development.
While big-budget R-rated superhero movies have become more common and expected since the success of Deadpool, they’re still far from the norm. In general, the field has been reserved for smaller comics or lesser known heroes, like the adaptations of Hellboy and Blade. With Zach Snyder also hinting his Justice League director’s cut could receive an R-rating, DC might be taking their onscreen content even further in that direction. The Suicide Squad is set to release in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.