There have been rumors that Matt Reeves’ The Batman could end up as a Rated R superhero movie. While some fans had ridiculed this choice, James Gunn explained why it could work and shouldn’t be this big of a deal.
In a response to a fan on Twitter, Gunn (The Suicide Squad, Guardians of the Galaxy) explained that comic book movies (and comic books themselves) can be many different things and take many different forms.
James Gunn on Batman being RatedR
The James Gunn comments came in an answer to a fan on Twitter who mentioned that Batman doesn’t need to be an R-Rated film.
The fan mentioned that The Dark Knight did what it did as PG-13, so why does Matt Reeves’ The Batman need to have an R-rating?
Gunn had the perfect answer.
“One of the beauties of comic book films – AND comic books themselves – is they don’t need to be any one thing. Like Westerns or Musicals or other genres, they can be anything. Mature or immature. Action-packed or talky. Violent or gentle. Comedic or stoic. G, PG, or R.”
Gunn went on to say that there are superhero myths that can be about those heroes above us or those heroes who are just like us. He said they should never be “one thing and be of one tone,” calling it a trap that should always be avoided.
He then pointed out why an R-Rated Batman could work, pointing out one of the greatest Batman stories ever written.
“As far as Batman goes, I love Frank Miller’s largely R-rated Batman just as much as I love Adam West’s campy Batman. The fact that one character can have such disparate interpretations over many decades is a strength of the character, not a weakness.”
Gunn is talking about The Dark Knight Returns, which was a seminal Batman story that helped move Batman from his more campy roots into the most popular character in comics, DC or Marvel.
Comic book movies as different things
There seems to be a severing of the lines between comic book fans.
Many fans love the fun superhero exploits that the Marvel Cinematic Universe offers. Others love it when the heroes go as dark as coal, such as in the Snyder world of the DCEU.
However, not all movies should be the same, as James Gunn explained.
Iron Man was a fun action movie. Captain America movies were always about politics, wars, and espionage. Guardians of the Galaxy was sci-fi space fantasy. Ant-Man was a heist movie. Thor is epic fantasy. Doctor Strange was a horror movie.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League was serious epic movie that painted the heroes as godlike beings. Wonder Woman was about hope. Birds of Prey was an eclectic and fun movie and Shazam was a DC movie for families.
It is important not to make every movie the exact same or the filmmakers are just telling the same stories over and over again and the superhero movies will die.
Making them different genres while using the comic book characters is what makes Marvel so successful. It is no different than the horror genre, which plays around with different story types.
A Rated R Batman movie with Robert Pattinson is not a problem and there are plenty of other superhero movies for kids and families to watch, including those in the DC world.
The Batman is scheduled to hit theaters on March 4, 2022.