Warner Brothers and DC Comics may be having success with their darker, more mature-rated superhero properties, such as The Dark Knight and Watchmen, but that doesn't seem to be a part of Marvel's plan going in to the future. According to Entertainment News International, Marvel Entertainment's Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Cuneo said that Marvel is no longer interested in doing R-rated films.
Cuneo was speaking at the Gabelli & Company's Inaugural Movie Conference in New York City, and during his presentation explained that R-rated films are "off strategy" for them, and that they are only interested in what they call "Triple Threat" movies, or in other words, movies that allow them to make money from toy, video game and other licensing venues.
It seems likely, also, that this decision is made in part due to the underwhelming box-office performance of Punisher: War Zone.
What is interesting about this move, especially in light of the recent darker superhero films to come out of Warner Brothers, is the reversal of tone from the comics. For many years, Marvel comics were seen as the darker, more realistic comics, while DC comics were more family friendly. And yet, when it comes to the movies, this trend seems to be reversed.