ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, if there's one cinematic variable that's pretty much guaranteed to get movie fans arguing, it's a film's MPAA rating. After all, the difference between a PG-13 and an R can be absolutely huge, and tends to manifest itself in exactly the kind of ways that prompt fan disagreement. Y'see, while there are some surprisingly tame R-rated movies, and some oddly graphic PG-13's, the rating system is usually a pretty darned accurate indicator of just how 'adult' a movie will be in terms of swearing, sex and ultra-violence.

Which, with audiences pretty solidly divided between those who say the more the merrier to that trio, and those who see them as being a bad influence, means the question of what rating a movie receives comes with a whole lot more baggage than you'd think.

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice having seemingly just received its rating, then, there's one big question that needs to be asked:

Will Batman v Superman Be an R, or a PG-13?

Now, that might seem like a pretty open-and-shut case, seeing as its predecessor, Man of Steel, was a PG-13, and major superhero movie releases tend to steer clear of an R-rating for fear of reduced box office turnover. That being said, with next year's Deadpool openly aiming for an R-rating, and a whole lot of early Batman v Superman footage looking distinctly R-like in its level of violence (see image above), it's not entirely impossible that Warner Bros. could have gambled on a more adult audience rewarding the movie at the box office.

According to Box Office Mojo, though, the movie is very much set to be...

...a PG-13.

Which...makes sense.

What Does That Mean for the Finished Movie, Though?

Well, for one thing, it pretty much confirms that a more-or-less finished cut of the movie has been put together, seeing as Warner Bros. will have to send it back to the MPAA to be re-rated if any changes are made. Alternatively, it's entirely possible that they simply sent in a rough cut to make sure that it wasn't too violent to get a PG-13 - something that the reported reasoning behind its rating might well support, what with it being the presence of:

"intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality."

If the movie is pushing for a 'hard', PG-13 -- essentially an R, but without the blood -- then it would make sense to get the movie rated this far out from the film's March 25, 2016 debut. It is, after all, a pretty effective way to squeeze the most extremity out of an occasionally very conservative MPAA, while still having time to make changes if things get pushed too far.

Or, in other words?

That PG-13 Could Be a Lot More R-Rated Than We Think

Much as Man of Steel was, in fact, what with all of the genocidal mania and neck-snapping. The big question, though?

What do you think?


Should Batman v Superman be a PG-13 or an R?



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