The Batman Part 2 Going R-Rated? New Clip Reveals A Harder Edged Batman Universe

Colin Farrell drops the f-bomb in a clip of the filming of The Penguin, further alluding that The Batman Part 2 will likely be a darker, R-rated movie.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

The Batman

Holy potty-mouth, Batman! A new clip from the in-production The Penguin points toward Matt Reeves’ version of Gotham shifting into R-rated territory. Could The Batman Part 2 follow suit?

The Art of The Batman Twitter account posted the clip of a heavily made-up Colin Farrell as Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot casually tossing out an F-bomb on the set of The Penguin. The HBO Max series, a spinoff of last year’s The Batman, recently started filming on location in New York City. The account #TeamDC – Por Siempre responded to the initial clip with another behind-the-scenes clip from The Penguin.

Including one f-word doesn’t necessarily mean that The Penguin will be TV-MA (the television equivalent of an R rating), but the casual way Oz throws it around indicates the spin-off has more f***s to give. The success of HBO Max’s other live-action spin-off Peacemaker proves that the streamer isn’t afraid to let its DC content get explicit. The real question is, will The Batman Part 2 follow suit?

Matt Reeves’s take on the Dark Knight already pushed the PG-13 rating to its limit. The movie dropped its one f-bomb in the first five minutes and followed it up with a non-stop barrage of bloodless violence. It might make sense for Reeves just to take the extra step and make The Batman Part 2 a full-blown R.

It certainly wouldn’t be without precedent in the DCU. 2019’s Joker was a hard R and still managed to gross $1 billion worldwide. Zack Snyder’s Justice League was also rated R when it debuted on HBO Max, as was the 2016 animated film The Killing Joke.

On the whole, Warner Bros. has never shied away from associating the DC brand with adult content. The Suicide Squad was a raunchy R-rated splatterfest that played more like a Troma film than a superhero movie. The animated Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay was just as bloody as its live-action counterpart despite being a cartoon.

Now that James Gunn has announced a Brave and the Bold movie featuring a more family-friendly Caped Crusader, an R-rated The Batman Part 2 only makes sense. Gunn has indicated that the new mainline DCU will be more like its rival, the MCU, which means it will probably be largely PG-13. Both Joker 2 and the second Matt Reeves Batman movie are going to exist outside the DCU, under the Elseworlds banner.

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Keeping Reeves’ darker take on Batman separate from the main DC continuity gives the director more freedom to go in any direction he wants. If nothing that happens in The Batman Part 2 will affect the events of the DCU, why not get weird with it? Reeves could even take a page from another R-rated DC property, Harley Quinn, and kill off characters that would normally be protected by plot armor.

According to IMDb, The Penguin is expected to come out sometime in 2023, two years before The Batman Part 2, meaning that fan response to the series might dictate the direction Matt Reeves takes his Batman sequel. Negative feedback to Cobblepot’s constant swearing could cause Warner Bros. to order Reeves to tone down the violence and profanity in The Batman Part 2 rather than ramp it up.

Whether The Batman Part 2 is rated R, PG-13, or even PG, its success ultimately depends on how good the movie is. All the curses in the world can’t save a bad screenplay and incompetent direction. Thankfully, Matt Reeves has already proven he has what it takes to deliver a blockbuster Batman movie, no matter the rating.