Are R-rated movies going to be a part of the DC Extended Universe in the future? We certainly can't rule it out. At least not according to Warner Bros. Chief Toby Emmerich. You may not know the name, but this is the man at the tippy top of Warner Bros. these days, so if he says something, it is well worth listening to, since all of the major decisions concerning the DCEU, or any movie the studio makes for that matter, need to go through him.
Variety recently ran a rather in-depth feature on Toby Emmerich, who shares the ability to green light movies alongside Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara. He spoke quite a bit about his vision for the future of the studio and, specifically, his vision for the future of the DCUE. When asked about the prospect of R-rated movies within the DCEU, he seemed rather certain that will happen at some point. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I would be surprised if we didn't at some point make an R-rated DC movie."
Largely thanks to Deadpool and Logan, which were both huge critical and commercial successes, R-rated comic book movies are becoming something of a trend. In fact, Deadpool went on to become the highest-grossing movie in the X-Men franchise overall, which is pretty amazing when you think about it. So it's no surprises that this is something studios are looking at, Warner Bros. included. Sony is planning an R-rated Venom movie and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently said that he wouldn't rule out R-rated movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that seems less certain. However, when it comes to the DCEU, it might actually make quite a bit of sense.
When looking at something like Suicide Squad, that is something that could have easily been R-rated and, arguably, could have benefited from that kind of freedom. Maybe Suicide Squad 2 will take things a little further in that way? There are other characters like Lobo, who has been softly rumored for quite some time to be in Warner Bros. plans, or it has at least been discussed, who would definitely lend himself to an R-rated adaptation. Much more than Marvel Studios, many of DC's characters would lend themselves to an R-rated adaptation. In fact, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice was given an R-rated extended edition on Blu-ray and, though it isn't a perfect movie, many consider it to be a much better version of the movie.
One thing to keep in mind, and this seems to be something that Warner Bros. understood heading into Wonder Woman and will carry over, given that movie's success, is that R-rated for the sake of R-rated doesn't help. Wonder Woman wouldn't have benefited in any way from being an R-rated movie, but other projects might. At least Toby Emmerich seems to understand that and is open to it in the future.