Director James Gunn has ridiculed reports of age rating complaints related to his DCEU film Suicide Squad. Although not every franchise in the DCEU has received a sequel, “Suicide Squad” is one of the few that has moved forward. After David Ayer criticized Suicide Squad in 2016, Gunn was tasked with continuing the franchise with Suicide Squad. While Suicide Squad isn’t a direct reimagining, it serves as a soft reboot of Ayer’s film, continuing characters like Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.
Suicide Squad followed Task Force X, which faced a new threat, which took place mainly on Corto Maltese. The DCEU project debuted the villain from the “Justice League” Starro the Conqueror. Gunn’s version of Suicide Squad also expanded the DCEU with new players such as Peacemaker, and John Cena’s character will star in his own HBO Max spin-off series. One of the things that made Suicide Squad stand out was that it became one of the Warner Bros. films. several DC films rated R, and it was characterized by extreme violence, gore, and profanity.
While many were in favor of the adult rating of “Suicide Squad” in the United States, not everyone in the world was happy. A recent Yahoo Entertainment report states that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has received complaints that the DCEU project received a “15” rating in the United Kingdom, reportedly due to an insufficiently high rating for “Suicide Squad” content. Gunn mocked on Twitter a report that Suicide Squad received “the most complaints to the BBFC in 2021,” pointing out that the BBFC had registered only 10 complaints.
Given the nature of “Suicide Squad”, it is quite logical that the DCEU film received an R rating in the United States. However, at the time of its release, some cited the rating as the reason for the somewhat disappointing box office results of Suicide Squad, given that it was shown during the pandemic in cinemas and on HBO Max at the same time, and strict age restrictions worked against it. Interestingly, the BBFC has also since defended its decision to classify Suicide Squad as a lower rating in the UK, despite complaints, saying that the “comic, fantasy, superhero context” was able to “mitigate [e]” the bloody violence in the film. As Gunn notes, despite the report, there were also very few complaints.
Although there will always be skeptics against R-rated superhero movies, there are more who support them. Other comic book films, such as “Deadpool” and “Deadpool 2”, turned out to be box office hits, despite the R rating. There will always be a market that prefers more adult and mature superhero films that can reach more extreme scales than PG-13 rated films. If Suicide Squad 3 came out in the future and Gunn was at the helm, he might even try to surpass Suicide Squad and raise his R rating even higher.