Bruce Wayne and his batty alter ego are going to have to be on their best behavior. The Motion Picture Association has handed The Batman, starring Twilight alumni Robert Pattinson as the Caped Crusader, a PG-13 rating despite talk of it being an R-rated affair.
The MPA noted on its bulletin that it rated The Batman PG-13 for "strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material." Apparently, the film's content wasn't strong enough to warrant an R-rating like the 2016 animated feature, The Killing Joke.
According to Variety, sources say that The Batman got a PG-13 rating because there isn't excessive cursing or nudity, and the action scenes contain more "exploding buildings and wrecked cars" than "merciless stabbings and shooting sprees." Despite the dark and gritty tone of the movie, the rating isn't that much of a surprise, as the majority of live-action of Batman movies have been blessed with the PG-13 rating. That was even true with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which was just as gritty and disturbing to some viewers.
Nevertheless, some fans aren't pleased with The Batman's tame rating to what they were hoping to be an extremely dark and serious film, as it's supposed to be exploring Wayne's psyche two years into his crime-fighting career. However, others have taken to Twitter to say that the PG-13 rating shouldn't be cause for concern, pointing out that other films carrying that rating can achieve a lot within these boundaries. Fan account The Art of The Batman pointed to Matt Reeves' Planet of the Apes films as an example.
Now when we say the majority of Batman films carried the PG-13 rating, that doesn't include spin-off films starring characters from the Batman universe. Bird of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) was given an R-rating due to the gratuitous profanity and violence, as well as some sexual and drug references — even though Suicide Squad had a scene of Harley dancing at a strip club, and it PG-13.
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