The origin story of the Clown Prince of Crime will not be a movie to see for those easily offended, as Joker has officially been given its hard R rating. According to the official website created for the movie, Joker is rated R for "strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images." Back in June, director Todd Phillips had told fans the movie was going to be R-rated, but seeing the actual rating from the MPAA emblazoned in the movie's marketing officially confirms it, putting to rest the concerns some DC fans had about the studio ordering some last-minute edits to chop the picture down to a PG-13 rating.
Completely unrelated to Suicide Squad and the other movies in the DCEU, Joker will tell an all-new origin story for the legendary Batman nemesis. The story follows failing comedian Arthur Fleck's downward spiral into insanity and his rise as the most feared criminal mastermind in Gotham City. Because Bruce Wayne is still a small child in the '80s-set movie, there will be no Dark Knight to save the day, although the Joker's actions in the movie could provide some insight as to why Bruce pursues the life that he does. The future superhero's father Thomas Wayne and butler Alfred Pennyworth will also be making appearances in the movie.
Co-starring with Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Frances Conroy, Joaquin Phoenix leads Joker in the titular villainous role. Sneak peek photos and the previously-released trailer tease a promising performance of the Clown Prince of Crime by the acclaimed actor, and there's a lot of anticipation from DC fans for the upcoming movie. The early reactions are very different from the consensus when images of Jared Leto's Suicide Squad Joker first hit the web, showing off a very bizarre take on the character's appearance. While the new version by Phoenix also looks unusual in comparison to other portrayals of the Joker, most people seem to be taking to the design very well.
Generally, superhero movies are never given an R rating, as they're typically developed for everyone to enjoy. However, it has been proven certain comic-based projects can not only succeed but even thrive with a hard R rating. It's easy to point to the success of Deadpool and its sequel Deadpool 2 as the obvious example. When the R-rated original pulled in astronomical amounts of money upon release, it became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time. A similar approach was then taken with the sequel, with Deadpool 2 breaking the record by pulling in even more money. Time will tell if Joker manages to have a highly successful theatrical run of its own.
Joker will officially hit the big screen on Oct. 4, 2019. If the movie turns out to be as big of a hit as Warner Bros. and DC are expecting, then chances are we could be seeing a follow-up in addition to other solo projects exploring other DC characters. In any case, Joker definitely looks to be a must-see movie for this fall, so let's all hope it delivers on the hype. You can check out the MPAA's R-rating in the Joker imagery at the movie'sofficial website.