Would fans want to see an R-rated movie starring Superman? Is that a thing the studio believes would get DC fans excited? Movies like Joker were rated R, and were very successful at the box office, but that story also starred a villain. Superman is the picture of the over-the-top good guy, right? Depending on what movie or series you’re watching, he’s always been a little intense in his good-guy ways. While Batman can push things in any direction, that’s just not how we normally see Superman. However, it may be how the studio sees him.
According to sources for We Got This Covered, Warner Bros and DC Films are pushing for an R-rated Superman project. Their report doesn’t include details on what project this is or when we might see it, though a Henry Cavill Superman movie with an R-Rating seems highly unlikely. We Got This Covered speculates that the project could be the newly announced Michael B. Jordan project for HBO Max.
The Michael B. Jordan Superman will star Val-Zod, a Kryptonian who took up the Superman title in the comics back in 2014. Right now, the actor is actually signed on through his production company, who are working to develop the film, but many people that he’ll take on the starring role. He’s been a popular choice for the superhero for a long time. After all of that, could his HBO Max series really be the choice for an R-rated Superman film? We Got This Covered points out that since it will be going to HBO Max for streaming, instead of theaters, it could make a natural choice.
At this point, an R-rated Superman project sounds highly unlikely, in large part because it would break so many fan expectations. While it may be a good way for the Michael B. Jordan project to differentiate itself from the other Supermans out there, that may not be a good thing. When audiences go to see a movie starring a villain, they may happily be looking for something that goes a little further. At Marvel, they made a big step in creating Deadpool as an R-rated series, but that’s still a far cry from Superman.
To be fair, it’s not as though there haven’t been R-rated Superman movies. Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent appeared in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which did officially receive the MPAA R-Rating. And that movie did get released on HBO Max for streaming. However, while fans can appreciate a tortured Bruce Wayne, a cheerful Clark Kent is more in line with what fans expect. When the studio released an R-rated director’s cut version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many felt that it sent the wrong message. The director’s cut was rated R for violence. At the time, it raised a few eyebrows. A solo film with an original that was R-rated would raise quite a few more. Maybe that’s the attention one of the new Superman projects wants? Or maybe it’s a rumor we should take with a grain of salt for now.