Dwayne Johnson’s PG-13 DC Film Black Adam has been sailing steadily at the box office but if it were an R-rated flick, staying true to Teth-Adam’s menacing killing nature, would its earnings have been impacted negatively or positively? Well, according to the movie’s editor, the director and producers believed a kids-friendly MPAA rating was necessary to cater to The Rock’s fans of all ages.
Black Adam is a tightly packed mass entertainer with VFX-heavy action sequences and while the movie delivers some of the best fistfight scenes between Teth-Adam and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), it still doesn’t cross the line with bloodshed and gore. However, producer Beau Flynn had earlier revealed the project underwent several cuts by MPA to receive PG-13 so it seems helmer Jaume Collet-Serra had shot a few scenes that wouldn’t fall under the kids’ parental guidance.
Black Adam editor Michael L. Sale spoke in detail with Screen Rant in regard to the decision to make The Rock’s first DC Film available to kids as well as adult moviegoers. “There was a thing coming from the director and the producers that, “Hey, we want to make this movie for everybody. Dwayne’s got a huge fan base, and he has a family fan base,” said Sale. “
“For us, it wasn’t about keeping with any tone of DC, past or present. It was about establishing our tone and our brand and the Black Adam brand. Our tone is like, “Hey, we’re going to be edgy. But it’s also a movie you can take your kids with dad and mom, and you can watch. And it’s not going to be so horrifying that you feel bad,” right? “I think the proof is in the pudding because this week, you saw families go and enjoy Black Adam in large numbers. I was really happy that we went in that direction. I think that’s what these movies are for. I think what it does is open up a whole path where DC has options now to do a lot of different things.”
Even so, it didn’t stop the filmmakers from presenting some of the most violent kills that could be brushed off due to their nature of portrayal, like Black Adam’s climax scene when the anti-hero ripped Sabbac’s head into two pieces or when he burnt an Intergang member to a crisp with his thunderbolt and many more. It’s unclear if DCEU fans can ever look forward to seeing an R-rated version of Black Adam, not unless Johnson takes a page from Hugh Jackman’s filmography and plays a grim portrayal like 2017’s Logan.
Johnson’s interest to explore crossovers between Justice League, The Suicide Squad and possibly both ensembles pitted against Teth-Adam is public knowledge. However, the actor’s desire to deliver a good story suggests that won’t be happening anytime soon and neither is a Black Adam vs. Superman movie on the card for the near future. Nevertheless, The Rock has time and again reminded the world he listens to fans’ pleas so maybe if the fandom wills it, Johnson might not be able to deny an R-rated portrayal of Kahndaq’s hero.
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