According to the MPAA, the upcoming Black Adam is rated PG-13 for ‘sequences of strong violence, intense action, and some language.” However, it appears that the first several cuts were rated R originally.
Producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia confirmed in an interview with Collider that “we wanted to make sure we honored the character of Black Adam…so we always went into this knowing that we were going to push it as far as we did.” They also mentioned it took four rounds and happened very recently regarding cuts on the amount of violence incorporated in the feature.
Regarding direction, this is the best option for DC and Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming feature. Yes, several R-rated films (Joker, Deadpool 1 & 2, It, Logan) have proven that audiences will turn up, but dialing back for a PG-13 rating could at least allow more families to attempt to watch such matters. The Batman‘s gritty noir flair, thanks to a stellar story and direction, earned $770.8 million when audiences were starting to get past pandemic times earlier this year. Not a bad statement for Warner Brothers, who have desperately needed some wins for DC ever since the falling out with the “Snyderverse” and the future looking pale compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And one can argue they’ve been on a winning streak with their products since James Gunn rocked in some juicy bits with The Suicide Squad reboot and the fun Peacemaker series on HBO Max. Perhaps adapting the gritty and violent compared to Marvel’s overdone silliness might win some fans back down the line.
Black Adam has a ton of momentum heading its way thanks to Johnson’s stature, and early reactions have praised it as being one of DC’s best. We’ll see if that stands true once it drops into theaters on October 21st.