Marvel Studios isn't quite ready to get into the R-rated comic book movie game just yet. There have been rumors floating around that the upcoming Black Widow solo movie, which will finally see Scarlett Johansson get to go on a solo adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was going to be R-rated. However, that has been firmly shot down by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.
The man in charge of the MCU is the final word when it comes to anything related to the on-screen Marvel heroes. During a recent interview, Kevin Feige was asked point-blank about the alleged R-rating for the Black Widow movie (which hasn't even technically been formally announced) and he was very quick to shoot it down. Here's what Feige had to say about it.
"It never was going to be. Somebody writes, 'I hear it's R-rated!' And then everybody writes it up."
That's the end of that. The good news is, Kevin Feige isn't even trying to pretend like this movie isn't happening, even though the studio is being incredibly cagey about anything happening beyond the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. Disney may, down the line, dabble in R-rated movies still. Studio chairman Alan Horn, in a recent interview, explained how their pending merger with Fox will present them with just such opportunities, since they can't currently make movies like that under the Disney banner.
"With Fox, we can make movies that right now I say no to. Take Bohemian Rhapsody, which is PG-13. It's a hit movie and very, very good. But there's no way we could make it under the Disney label because the characters smoke cigarettes and other content. Nor could we have made [Warner Bros.' R-rated] Oscar-winning Argo because the characters smoke and use the F-word. We always have to think about the smoking policy. The audience for a Disney movie may not know what they are going to see, but they know what they aren't going to see. There are certain things we just can't include because we'll get letters."
Disney CEO Bob Iger also has expressed his desire to see Deadpool continue after the merger, and that those movies can remain R-rated. But Black Widow is already firmly established in the PG-13 universe that is the MCU. It wouldn't necessarily make sense for the studio to make that jump with this character now.
What we do know is that production is expected to begin very soon on the movie under the direction of Cate Shortland (Lore, Berlin Syndrome) and that Scarlett Johansson, in addition to starring once again as Natasha Romanoff, is heavily involved as a producer and will be paid handsomely for her services. Black Widow does not yet have a release date, but we would expect to see it debut sometime in 2020. This news was first reported by Comicbook.com.