One Brutal Death Scene Almost Made a $1.5 Billion MCU Film Its First R-rated Production Years Before Deadpool & Wolverine

'The Avengers' almost became an R-rated MCU movie because of one brutal death scene.

One Brutal Death Scene Almost Made a $1.5 Billion MCU Film Its First R-rated Production Years Before Deadpool & Wolverine


  • Kevin Feige revealed The Avengers (2012) was given an 'R' rating because of one death scene.
  • They had to make some adjustments to make sure the movie gets viewed by the target audience.
  • The Marvel boss said there is a possibility that MCU will have more R-rated films in the future.
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It’s crazy to think that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) could have had R-rated movies, but the circumstances did not permit it to, most especially because the superhero films were tailored for the general public viewing. But, did you know that 2012’s The Avengers was almost given an R-rating?

The-Avengers mcu
Marvel Studios’ The Avengers

That’s definitely a surprise for everyone, but yes, even before the introduction of 2016’s Deadpool and 2017’s Logan, Marvel Studios was on the verge of bringing a slightly gory comic book film to life.

Kevin Feige On 2012’s The Avengers Receiving an ‘R’ Rating

During his interview with via HuffPost, Marvel boss Kevin Feige revealed The Avengers almost earned an R-rating due to one tragic scene involving Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson.


When we submitted The Avengers, the first couple cuts of it came back from the MPAA rated R. That happened twice. So we went back and had to make adjustments. Whenever you impale somebody from their back and the blade comes out their chest, there are issues.”

This was the scene when Loki stabbed Agent Coulson. The original cut was supposed to have the blade pass through from his back and out through the front. The gruesome act already warrants an R-rating, which would limit the target audience from seeing the film.

clark gregg and tom hiddleston the avengers
Clark Gregg and Tom Hiddleston in The Avengers

As a consequence, they had to make some adjustments where Coulson gets stabbed, but the blade won’t show on his chest. In his interview via The Hollywood Reporter, Feige reveals there are no active plans to make an R-rated Marvel movie that would follow the steps of Deadpool and Wolverine.

My takeaway from both of those films is not the R rating; it’s the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed. That should be the takeaway for everyone.”

However, because of the demand from the audience and the love for Deadpool films, Feige stated via AlloCiné that there is a possibility for the MCU to welcome an R-rated movie.


I don’t think it’s out of the question. When I started at Marvel seventeen years ago, the Blade franchise was doing very well. A lot of people didn’t even know that it was based on a Marvel character because at the time they sort of hid the fact it was Marvel. So, not out of the question, but not something we’re working on right now.”

At this point, with Deadpool finally making his way into the MCU and partnering up with Wolverine in their upcoming collaboration film, Deadpool & Wolverine, Marvel Studios might be in the process of bringing more violent and bloody films to the big screen.

Will MCU Get More R-Rated Movies?

deadpool and wolverine
Deadpool and Wolverine

The original cut of Phil Coulson’s death would have changed the MCU forever. The billion-dollar franchise still has to abide by the guidelines in order to keep its movies accessible to the public.

However, fans have noticed the slow changes in the tones, such as heroes and villains sparingly using F-bombs and conducting even more violent fight sequences.


Hopefully, fans will have more R-rated Marvel movies if Deadpool & Wolverine proves to be a success at the box office. Catch the film in theaters this July 26.

Meanwhile, The Avengers (2012) is available to stream via Disney+.


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 2033

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.