Favorite R-Rated Comic Book Movies

After watching The Suicide Squad, I kept wondering why there weren’t that many R-rated comic book movies. Turns out there are quite a bit. Enough to, say, fill a whole top ten 😃

Why aren’t there more though? The graphic potential of an R-rating may seem exciting to rabid fans like you and me, but it effectively means less seats which means less dollars. Sure, Deadpool opened big but Iron Man 3, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel opened bigger. The corporate IP game is all about reigning supreme at the box office with the widest possible appeal, which the PG-13 rating ensures. Studios, then, are less and less willing to risk the potential for massive profit when it comes to their billion-dollar superhero franchises.

But every once in a while we get Logan or The Suicide Squad. These ten below are ready to queue up right now and satisfy those mature cravings that the PG-13 superhero can’t fulfill. You might notice some glaring omissions (sorry Snyder fans) but HEY, THIS IS MY LIST NOT YOURS.

This is the hard-R comic book terrain so far and it may point to where studios can go next.

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‘The Suicide Squad’ Review – Over-the-Top Comic Book Mayhem

We all know of James Gunn’s ignominious fall from grace. He went from shock-jock provocateur in his Troma days, which curiously led to him scripting the live-action Scooby Doo, followed by the Dawn of the Dead remake; he directed his own horror genre mash-up in Slither, proceeded to indict vigilantes and superheroes with his twisted indie Super, and then was handed the reins of an obscure Marvel franchise to call his own. Gunn’s career read like the unlikeliest of success stories.

Studio gigs are a dream come true for upcoming filmmakers because there’s an assurance to the work that doesn’t exist in independent filmmaking. If a director can meet all of the studio’s requirements for bringing in bankable stars, appealing to a PG-13 audience, merchandising and marketing, etc., then the studio will bankroll your “vision” and stand by you in both success and failure, supposedly. It’s the very assurance that Steven Spielberg had when Universal Studios secured him as a young talent through a multi-picture contract.

It seemed like Disney had Gunn’s back when Guardians 3 was announced months before Vol. 2 came out. And then they dumped him. I mention this because it’s the first time since entering the studio system that Gunn might have felt expendable—and perhaps why he was drawn to this expendable group of heroes.

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