It's not often you can say this about a film, but Suicide Squad is officially the most anticipated movie of the summer. Even the release of new pictures on set caused quite a stir among online fans keen to learn everything they can before the film hits cinemas in August.
Aside from the Joker's final role in the film, most of the speculation around Suicide Squad has revolved around the film's potential rating. While the success of the R rated Deadpool led many to believe that the villainous ensemble would follow in the same footsteps, the Motion Picture Association of America officially confirmed today that Suicide Squad has been rated PG-13.
Box Office Mojo revealed that Suicide Squad received the rating for;
"Sequences of violence and action throughout, disturbing behavior, suggestive content and language"
The news will undoubtedly be disappointing for fans who hoped to see the Joker and a "vicious" Harley Quinn unleash their full insanity on screen, no holds barred, but we were already warned by the producers and director David Ayer that this could be the outcome.
The R rating is hardly a death sentence though, so before the pitchforks come out, there's two important things that need to be kept in mind;
1. Suicide Squad Will Push The Boundaries Of The PG-13 Rating
Giving Suicide Squad a PG-13 rating may sound like a soft approach, but if you read the terminology used by the MPAA, it sounds like Ayer has still found ways to showcase the psychotic behavior of these disturbed criminals, keeping the action quota up throughout.
Sometimes, the suggestion of violence is far more provocative than fully depicting the act on screen. Does anyone remember that pencil 'trick' from The Dark Knight? Speaking of which —
2. The Dark Knight Proved That PG-13 Films Can Still Appeal To Adults
Christopher Nolan's second instalment in the Batman trilogy, is often held up by critics as the pinnacle of the superhero genre. The Dark Knight eventually earned over a billion dollars at the box office, thanks in large part to Heath Ledger's genuinely unnerving performance as the Joker.
If Jared Leto's Clown Prince of Crime doesn't match up to his predecessor, there's no way that the softer PG-13 rating should be blamed, as Ledger was still able to win himself an Oscar for an unhinged performance that worked within those constraints.
Fans also loved the dubiously titled Batman: Assault On Arkham for it's surprisingly violent, yet PG-13 take on our beloved villains, earning an impressive 86% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ayer will need to work the Enchantress's magic to retain the mature tone of the comics with a PG-13 rating, but it's been achieved before and the advance reviews have been extremely promising, so there's still a chance that Suicide Squad could be the success story that DC needs right now.