There are few upcoming superhero movies that have generated as much interest as Matt Reeves's take on The Batman, despite the project being largely shrouded in secrecy by the studio. Fans are particularly looking forward to Robert Pattinson's fresh take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, and the actor recently revealed to Empire Magazine his own interest in pushing the character further than ever before.
"The only thing that's more complicated is the rating. As soon as you make something an R-rated movie, you're freed up to do so much stuff. In terms of the character itself, I want to push it as far as it possibly can go. And I think Matt Reeves does as well. You can do crazy stuff with that part."
R-ratings are relatively hard to come by for Superhero movies, seeing as most studios see the films as potential cash cows, and putting an R-rating on them means limiting their theater audiences, and diminished returns at the box-office. With the recent massive financial success of Joker and Deadpool as R-rated movies, however, that line of thinking may be changing.
As far as we know, The Batman is still being intended to be released as a PG-13 film, as with every other Batman movie before it. What that means is that the movie will avoid showing graphic scenes of violence or nudity that would be considered inappropriate for younger audiences.
Batman is one hero who fans have often clamored to see in an R-rated film. Given the gritty nature of Batman's daily struggles against psychopaths, serial killers and the general criminal underbelly of one of the most corrupt cities in fiction, Gotham, there is a popular school of thought in the fandom that only an R-rated feature would be able to do true justice to Batman's journey on the big screen.
However, even without an R-rating, The Dark Knight is doing fairly well in the live-action department. For the longest time, he was the only DC superhero whose films were both successful at the box-office and critically acclaimed, aside from being the only superhero whose film features an Oscar-winning performance.
It will be interesting to see what Robert Pattinson means by 'Crazy stuff' that he wants to do with the character. Bruce Wayne is famously one of comic's most tortured characters, constantly dealing with the guilt of his parent's death, and using his rage over the painful memory to wage an endless, solitary war against the forces of evil infesting Gotham.
The most extreme interpretations of Batman from the comics have him imprisoning the KGBeast to die in solitary confinement, single-handedly bringing down the Justice League with his traps, sending himself on a hallucinogenic trip using the Scarecrow's toxins, and losing his memory and getting broken psychologically, and using a series of markers he had planted beforehand to go on a blood-soaked journey back to sanity and self-discovery.
In other words, there is a lot of precedent for some of the really crazy stuff that Pattinson's Batman can indulge in, and Matt Reeves doubtless has his own ideas about which grimy, winding roads to take the Caped Crusader down. Whether we get to see the R-rated or PG-13 version of that journey remains to be seen. This news comes from Heroic Hollywood.