Way back in September, the Motion Picture Association of America issued a PG-13 rating for Warner Bros.' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which didn't come as much of a surprise, since almost all superhero movies aim for this rating. Earlier this month, 20th Century Fox's Deadpool shattered box office conventions and records alike, landing the highest R-rated opening weekend in cinematic history, which has spawned a number of conversations about other comic book adventures aiming for an R rating. As it turns out, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is getting an R-rated cut, but it doesn't seem to be hitting theaters.
Stitch Kingdom noticed a ratings bulletin sent out today by FilmRatings.com, which reveals that the MPAA has given out an R rating for what is described as an "Ultimate Edition" of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The bulletin lists Warner Home Entertainment as the distributor, not Warner Bros. Pictures, which means that this version will be released on Blu-ray and DVD, presumably sometime later this year. The listing doesn't offer too many details, only stating that it was rated R for "sequences of violence," while noting that the "content is different from PG-13 version."
If you're expecting a foul-mouthed Batman (Ben Affleck) or Superman (Henry Cavill), though, that likely won't happen, since this ratings bulletin would have surely mentioned any instances of adult language. When the original PG-13 rating was issued in September, the rating was given due to "intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality." Since the new R-rating doesn't mention sensuality, it seems those scenes won't be more explicit either, so that leaves us with the reasonable conclusion that the R-rated Ultimate Edition will be much more violent.
It's worth noting that director Zack Snyder's 2009 superhero adaptation Watchmen was given an R rating, but it didn't exactly set the world on fire at the box office, despite being one of that year's most anticipated movies. The movie earned $107.5 million domestically and $77.7 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $185.2 million, from a $130 million production budget. It's certainly possible that the hype swirling around Deadpool, leading to its box office success, could have spawned Warner Bros. to put together an R-rated cut as an an experiment of sorts on home video, while releasing the safer PG-13 cut in theaters.
Of course, it's also possible that, depending on how well (or poorly) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice performs in theaters, that Warner Bros. may release this Ultimate Edition theatrically, after the initial release. Still, all we know for now is that there is an R-rated version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice out there, but we'll have to wait and see when an official announcement will be made. Do you think an R-rated version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will do better than the PG-13 version at the box office? Let us know what you think below.