Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s Ultimate Edition is so violent, it’s been granted an R-rating.
Remember when Man of Steel came out after years of anticipation, and the major criticism was how dark and violent Superman’s universe seemed? Well, that’s unlikely to improve with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A close look at a bulletin from the Classification and Rating Administration reveals this superhero film has an R-rated “Ultimate Edition”, presumably for Blu-Ray discs following the theatrical release.
The bulletin lists a newly edited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition distinct from the PG-13 movie. According to the classification board, this version will be rated R for “sequences of violence”. When this rating is applied for violence, it usually describes content which is considered intense and/or persistent. We don’t know what the rating entails, but it might refer to anything from fight scenes with vividly broken bones to explicit blood and gore. (Since Batman and Doomsday are in this movie, it could go either way.)
Naturally, R-rated superhero films are a major topic right now, thanks to Deadpool‘s massively successful theatrical release just two weeks ago. The question is whether Warner Bros approved this Ultimate Cut in response to Deadpool, or already had the Ultimate Edition in the works. Considering how recently the movie launched, it’s pretty likely this violent material was completed and removed from the theatrical edition.
This news will probably make Superman fans more than a little nervous, myself included. While I have absolutely no problem with violent superheroes – including Superman himself on occasion – Man of Steel was not a film which represented that violence well, thematically speaking. And if Zack Snyder was filming Batman v Superman with an R-rating in mind, that tone will likely leave traces in even the theatrical release. For better or worse, we’ll find out when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25.