Despite the increasing trend towards allowing hard swearing, brutal decapitations and exposed breasts in comic book films such as Deadpool and Logan, an R rating was never an option for the forthcoming Wonder Woman. The film is being touted as pro-feminism—inspiring a bunch of pissed-off men, of course—and director Patty Jenkins says this is primarily why the film is staying PG-13. During an interview with Cinema Blend, Jenkins said that:
I cared a lot about it never being an R-rating. And I totally support the movies that do have an R-rating, but in this case I was very aware that little girls were going to want to see the film, and I was very protective of that. So it had to not be Rated R to me. I would have been happy to go for PG, but it’s World War I, so we couldn’t!
It’s a pretty radical stance to take in a film genre that has largely catered towards angsty young men looking for some high-intensity explosions and superhero antics. It’s encouraging to see Jenkins acknowledge that her film is a different vibe and comes pre-packaged with actual intentions that extend beyond slow-motion stabbing and making all of the money. As great as it would be to show Wonder Woman ripping the heads off of Central Powers’ soldiers, it seems a small price to pay to allow young girls to see the film and not be traumatized.
Of course, all of this is pointless if the film sucks, but it’s looking like this may be the first legitimately good DC film since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Initial reviews seem to be skewing positive, which has to be a major relief for a studio plagued with major letdowns like Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. Hopefully the new film will not only be a major turning point in the DC franchise, but for comic book films as a whole. Commercial success for Wonder Woman could force Hollywood executives to recognize the substantial female viewership that watches these sorts of films and begin making future films more inclusive.
Click here to see the final trailer ahead of Wonder Woman’s June 2 release.