Back in November, we spoke with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice producer Charles Roven, who also has purview over the other DC superhero movies plus Suicide Squad, and he said that they were aiming to make their movies PG-13. But then Deadpool came along and broke box office records left and right.
Steve spoke to Roven again at the Batman v Superman press junket, and asked if he had changed his mind given Deadpool’s success. Here’s the video:
Roven explained why, despite Deadpool, tearing up the box office, he thinks it’s best for his movies to remain PG-13:
CHARLES ROVEN: At the moment, my understanding is we are still releasing Suicide Squad as a PG-13, so there hasn’t been to my mind a serious conversation about doing anything other than that. I understand why Deadpool was released as an R-rated film, and I think that the DC Justice League characters, particularly because so many of them are so iconographic, have been around for so long and for so many generations that have grown up with them, and that are still growing up with them, I think we want to present them, when we finally present them, to the broadest possible audience that we can. I think that’s why we’ve planned on making these movies PG-13.
I’m not seeing any real reason to change. We’ve made some pretty edgy films that are rated PG-13. You never want to say “never” because we all evolve, but right now I think we’re staying that course.
Personally, I think ratings are irrelevant when it comes to the value of a story, especially with comic book movies. Deadpool is an R-rated character, but being R-rated doesn’t inherently make Deadpool a good movie. Just because you have the leeway to do something, that doesn’t mean the film is automatically better, and so if Roven wants to cap his films at PG-13, that’s fine if the material can handle it. (As I pointed out in my editorial responding to Roven’s comments in November, it’s the MPAA that’s screwed up, and we need a new rating).
I am a fan of other DC characters that I’m not producing those films. Right now my focus on the DC Universe is the DC Justice League Universe, and the DC Justice League Universe is the DC Justice League heroes and the DC Justice League villains. So I have not really focused yet on finding a character. There’s a group we’re maybe kicking around the idea of it. We haven’t actually yet fully put it into development so I can’t really talk about it, I’m sorry. But at present, for the time being, we’re headed down this course.
And it’s a course that will do very well for them. Not every film is Deadpool and Deadpool was not made to create an example. If Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice works as PG-13, then the important thing is that it works, not that someone says “fuck” too many times or that there’s nudity.