Any comic book movie fan hoping Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” would be the first Caped Crusader film with an R rating was surely disappointed when Warner Bros. confirmed Jan. 12 the film is rated PG-13 for “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language and some suggestive material.” Rumors circulated for months about an R-rated “The Batman,” which fans viewed as a possibility since R-rated comic book tentpoles like “Deadpool” and “Logan” turned a profit. However, Reeves always intended for “The Batman” to be PG-13.
“In my mind, the movie was always going to be a gritty, edgy, noir, thrilling spectacle that was PG-13,” Reeves told Den of Geek. “That was always what it was, but I always knew that we’d be pushing the limits of what that could be, and so we didn’t really have to cut anything… I’m happy we got the rating because I want people to be able to come to see the movie.”
Reeves stressed that no R-rated version of “The Batman” exists. If anything, Reeves worried that pushing the limits of the PG-13 rating would tip “The Batman” over into R territory and he would then have to make cuts.
“There isn’t some special cut of this movie where it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, here’s the R rating that you’ve been desperately wanting,'” Reeves said. “I didn’t have to suddenly start drastically cutting the movie or anything like that.”
“The Batman’s” PG-13 ratings falls in line with other Caped Crusader films such as Zack Snyder’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and the three films in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. However, “The Batman” runs longer than all of these movies. With its two hours and 47 minute runtime without end credits, “The Batman” is set to be one of the longest comic book tentpoles ever. Only “Avengers: Endgame” (181 minutes) and “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (242 minutes) run longer.
Warner Bros. opens “The Batman” in theaters nationwide March 4.