Ah the proverbial R-rated superhero film. Ever since the dawn of the modern comic book movie, the R label has been regarded with reverence by fans, polarized critics, and has given parents unsuspecting parents headaches having brought their kids to a superhero movie they shouldn’t have seen. And one of the things that some people hold over the film division of the MCU is its lack of edgy R-rated material. When asked about this in an interview over at France, our lord and savior Kevin Feige addressed the possibility of having an R-rated MCU film down the line saying:
Currently we don’t work on R-Rated movies, it’s not out of the question but currently, no.
Like Feige’s usual answers when asked about Defenders-Avengers crossovers, this one is an example of his genius in giving fluffy answers. Marvel Studios is doing a very simple yet genius job with their blockbusters: make sure the films hit the four-quadrant audience. Now, this clearly means making creative decisions that don’t alienate a certain aspect of that four-quadrant audience. With the current Phase-defined slate of Marvel, the films all share the fun signature Marvel feel despite them having varying narrative tones. It’s what makes the shared universe work so well and an R-rated film in the midst of all that may not lend itself to what Marvel has been doing so well.
But in a post-Infinity War Marvel Cinematic Universe potentially devoid of phases, free from restrictions that prevent each film to be 100% standalone? An R-rated film just might work. Maybe the first one out of the gate could be that Black Widow film we’ve been dying to see?