'Birds of Prey' and 'The Suicide Squad' will both be R-rated

Ben ArnoldContributor
Birds of Prey (Credit: Warner Bros)
Birds of Prey (Credit: Warner Bros)

Both the Margot Robbie-fronted Birds of Prey movie and The Suicide Squad will be R-rated, according to reports.

Likely buoyed by the fact that its other recent superhero adjacent effort Joker has become the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time – having made over $1 billion worldwide – there's clearly now precedent for blockbusters that don't hold back.

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Read more: The Suicide Squad ‘feels like a comedy’

Studios have been distinctly more cautious with certificates in the past, fearing that limiting the audience has the knock on effect of limiting the box office take.

Many thought Venom was set to be a dark and violent take on the Spider-Man spin-off, but it was released as a PG-13 in the US, though it was a 15-rating in the UK.

Zazie Beatz and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Credit: Warner Bros)
Zazie Beatz and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (Credit: Warner Bros)

Then Arnold Schwarzenegger famously slammed the decision to make Terminator Genisys a PG-13, in the hope of widening the potential customer base.

In a Reddit AMA session, he told fans: “I was sick and tired with the last time, when the studio decided to make it a PG-13 rating just because they thought there more dollars in there. I said, ‘Guys you’re so stupid…this is a story that is written and a franchise that is done and written for an R-rating and not Terminator the babysitter type of thing.

Read more: David Ayer offers support to Gunn

“That’s not Terminator, it’s cheating it’s greedy and trying to make more money. You have to be organic about this stuff. I was so angry about them trying to cut out the blood and gore.”

But while Birds of Prey, directed by Cathy Yan, will be R-rated (likely a 15 over here), it reportedly won't be heading down the dark route of Joker, and according to Variety will be 'a humorous, spirited, girl gang adventure, albeit not one for younger children'.

James Gunn is making the Suicide Squad sequel, meanwhile, a job he took on after he was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (he's since been reinstated) after off-colour tweets he sent over a decade ago were unearthed by a right-wing activist online.

And while the Guardians of the Galaxy movies were knockabout fun, Gunn isn't estranged to the world of restricted viewing, having made body horror comedy Slither and Super in 2010, the excessively violent – and gleefully weird – superhero comedy with Rainn Wilson.

Birds of Prey is due for February 7, 2020, while The Suicide Squad will land on August 6, 2021.

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