There is a lot being made about Deadpool’s record-breaking weekend box office, while most felt the film would be successful few thought the film would be opening to 130 million dollars. Many are now saying that this will open the door to a new generation of R-rated superhero films now that it has been proven that the genre does indeed have its fans. So let's look at a few reasons why R rated superhero films CAN work.
1. Mature Themes
It allows for more mature themes to be explored in superhero films, many superhero stories have dealt with complex moral themes, for example Green Arrow and the drug addiction story, or Tony Stark's alcoholism, or Ant Man's domestic abuse. All of these stories are very good yet don't work in a PG-13 world, having more R-rated films would allow for more real world problems to be explored.
2. Complex Characters
It allows for more complex characters to be explored, for the majority of comic book films we have seen white knights and black villains, even the grey guys tend to be more good than bad. Having more R-rated films will allow for more morally grey characters to be explored as they are written, for example Moon Knight, Ghost Rider and many others. Deadpool was able to be the completely selfish and irreverent character he was written to be in a R-rated world, he was not made to be “Heroed up”
3. Dirt, Grime and Blood
More realism in its filming, this can include things like, a grittier world, dirt, grime and blood. I'm not a huge fan of blood in films but I understand its need in a film about a character who uses swords or claws. 80’s and 90’s action films were very bloody and gritty but were very good! I would like to see more superhero films be given the 80s action movie treatment.
4. Swearing is OK
Swearing, NOW I also don't like a lot of swearing in films, I find for the most part it is used as crutch to cover bad dialogue, but I don't find swearing when it is needed and fits the story, would a evil street villain swear? HELL YES, would a former military superhero swear? HELL YES! So use it when needed and when it advances the story.
5. A Select Audience
They can reach a total audience, PG-13 films are great! I love them, but they only reach a portion of the audience, having R-rated films allow for the studio to reach the audience that liked more mature material, this allows for total market saturation and leaves no money on the table.