Now that R-Rated comic book films are becoming more and more popular with the success of Deadpool, Logan, Joker and Birds of Prey. Studios are starting to realize just how bankable an R-Rated comic book film can be. Especially since there are some characters that could not be accurately represented in anything less than Rated R. That is what we will be exploring in this list, looking at some of comic books most popular characters that deserve a rated R film. Some of the picks will be characters that might have already received their own film, but were PG-13 and not given the proper film it deserves.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Already given a film in 2003 that was Sean Connery’s final live-action film, the film was less than average. Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore (Watchmen, The Killing Joke) that brought together a group of extraordinary people including a vampire named Mina Murray, a hunter Allen Quatermain, an invisible man Hawley Griffin and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Considering most of these characters are horror icons, there is no reason to bring these characters together on screen for anything less than a R-Rated film. What else do you expect from a vampire or Jekyll and Hyde, so let’s see them cut loose as a group for an accurate on screen portrayal.
An R-Rated Horror film is the type of movie that would be explored through the origin of Raven. Focus a large part of the film with Ravens mother Arella and how she was part of the ritual that resurrected the demon Trigon. Then moving into Ravens birth and the struggles her and her mother face to fight against Trigon while they are constantly on the run. A character study of Raven wouldn’t make for an R-Rated action or comedy film, but instead a heavy horror film. It could be everything we thought The New Mutants was going to be, but embrace its horror roots.
Justice League Dark
We covered what a comic book horror and action film could be with an R rating, but what if we combined both of them together with the Justice League Dark. The Justice League Dark would be an excellent combination of both genres, especially after the success WB Animation saw with their animated film. Rumors are speculating that we will be seeing the supernatural team come together in a limited series by HBO Max, we only hope it will be given a mature rating similar to Watchmen. We hope to soon see the gathering of John Constantine, Etrigan, Zatanna, Swamp Thing and Deadman for a mature audience in film or limited series.
The cursed rhyming demon bonded to the ancient Jason Blood could be adapted into a film before assembling together the Justice League Dark. Part of Etrigans personality is his love to slaying, gutting and brutalizing his victims in battle. But where an Etrigan movie can really utilize its R rating is with its use of body horror, during sequences involving Jason Bloods transformation into the Demon or the various demons that come from hell. Imagine a combination of the films Constantine and Hellboy and that is basically what you would be getting through an Etrigan movie. Pit him against the Sorceress Morgen Le Fay or the demons father Belial.
A R-Rated film about a a badass intergalactic alien bounty hunter? Sign me up. Considering he is basically impossible to kill, the character Lobo is a sarcastic and insane bounty hunter who is willing to do the craziest things to acquire his bounty. A film about the Main Man could hold a similar feel to how Deadpool was with lots of blood and gore that can be used in explosions and dismemberment. Don’t incorporate Superman in the first film, instead end the movie with a reference to the Man of Steel and set up a possible sequel that sends him on a bounty against Superman.
Moon Knight has often been referenced as Marvels version of Batman, both are detectives and are incredible martial arts but both have some differences. In one variation Moon Knight also has increased strength and speed, adding into the brutality the character can use during a film. Words is that Marvel and Disney are currently working on a limited series for Disney+ and whenever we have the chance to see that show, we just hope it is similar to Netflix’s Daredevil or The Punisher. Possibly even bringing in Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist from the Netflix series into Disney+ new Marvel series and bring them in a Moon Knight show
We might not be able to tell this story without first taking a look at a film adaptation of Death of the Family, but if that were to happen we could easily be given a solo Red Hood film. If Warner Brothers were to ever introduce the Red Hood into their connected universe, they would most likely adapt Under the Red Hood story. But if they ever decided to tell Jason Todds story, it could make for a violent action movie about Todds hatred for Batman and his path on becoming a killer. Imagine a darker and more emotional version of a Deadpool film, with stunts and action similar to Mission Impossible.
Although we have already been given at least two interpretations of the Spirit of Vengeance, they haven’t been given the proper iteration considering the demonic and evil content from the comics. 2007 was the first live-action portrayal of Ghost Rider staring Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze, and was a lack luster to say the least. In 2011 we got a sequel called Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance that was actually worse than the first. The Ghost Rider was then brought to the MCU in 2016 through the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this time with Robbie Reyes and his infamous Dodge Charger. But its time for a film about Ghost Rider with a more comic accurate take and couldn’t be done any better but with an R-Rating.
In 2020 Warner Animation released the film Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, a rated R animated movie and I thought to myself “Man, this would work so well in live-action.” After the post credit scene of Justice League that showed us Joe Manganiello as the assassin, the look and design of Deathstroke just got us excited about what could be possible with the character. Imagine a version of Batman that doesn’t hold back, not afraid to kill or better yet a serious version of Deadpool. There will be no way to make a live-action Deathstroke film with a PG-13 rating, so the question is “When will Warner Brother finally give it to us?”
A film that caused some controversy during its release, part of the disappointment many fans saw with 2018’s Venom was its lack of an R-Rating. Venom is a bad guy, meaning we expect to see him do some pretty bad things but were given a film that tamed all of that. The sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage is currently in production and will bring back Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, along with Woody Harrelson as Cletus Kassidy. The film will introduce the deadly Carnage to go against Hardys Venom, but no rating has been announced yet for the film. But hopefully director Andy Serkis and Sony Pictures hear fans and finally make a R-Rated version of the alien symbiote.