It’s high time we addressed the largest elephant in the MCU. And that is being R-Rated. Some of us may have ignored while others may haven’t realized that Earth has basically had multiple destructive events in the past, but neither was there ever any visible mention of the death toll or, more importantly, loss of blood. “Captain America: Civil War” merely held the Avengers responsible for destruction, and for Captain Steve Rogers to say that we shouldn’t give up even if “someone dies on your watch” just makes it worse. Hundreds of thousands died in New York, Washington DC, Sokovia, and Lagos. And all that we were made to do was consider whether the Avengers were accountable and thus “R-Rated” or not.
Disney has always been for children. So it is expected to draw a line for Marvel’s mature and R-Rated content. We cannot blame Disney for it. But this doesn’t mean that the very arc of characters and superheroes in general can be altered to suit its audience better. Disney will have to make sure that in keeping the shows and movies audience-friendly based on its history, it doesn’t compromise on the very arc of the Marvel characters. Keeping that in mind, here we shall talk about future MCU characters that should be R-Rated. Why? Because they are and always have been.
At present, almost every superhero is R-Rated in the MCU in that they all have blood on their hands. However, many Marvel characters are known for their blood-and-gore nature. And some of them will be coming to the MCU very soon. Here are 7 superheroes that need to be R-Rated in the MCU.
After much debate and discussion, we finally know for a fact that Deadpool 3, although under Disney, will officially be Rated R. This is not to say that the previous two Deadpool films weren’t R-Rated. But they were under 20th Century Fox. After Disney bought the rights, it was expected that Deadpool 3 might just be molded for Disney and thus ruined. Historically speaking, Deadpool is one of the goriest Marvel characters, especially due to his ability to heal, much like Logan. So it was only natural that in order to show his power, blood was a necessary ingredient while cooking the script.
Logan, AKA Wolverine, is known for his ferocity and trauma, and thanks to Hugh Jackman, Wolverine has become one of the most beloved Marvel characters ever. 2017’s R-Rated “Logan” showed a very humane Logan while maintaining his gory self. In the previous X-Men films, we saw Wolverine’s impact on his enemies, but only in “Logan” did we see the wreckage he caused. It is indeed the bloody wreck that contributes more to “Logan” R-Rated nature. While there isn’t any news as to who will be the MCU’s Wolverine, we did get his reference in She-Hulk Episode 2. This means that Wolverine exists in the MCU. And whenever he arrives, he will have to be rated R.
The cult-classic action-based “Blade” trilogy, featuring Wesley Snipes as the Day-Walker, was R-Rated. It made more than $400 million, which was proof that people accepted the character’s R-rating. And it makes sense, too, because he is a vampire hunter. In the previous three films, notably in “Blade” and “Blade 2”, there was a lot of blood involved. As for Blade in the MCU, Mahershala Ali will portray the character, and, provided its raw and explicit archive material, the film needs to be rated R to be true to its nature. It is slated for a November 2023 release. It remains to be seen how Marvel goes about creating such a dark character, which will be the first of its kind, that too under Disney.
Moon Knight has already arrived in the MCU. But owing to Disney’s apparent inclination toward its younger audience, the show was rated TV-14. Thus, it couldn’t explore the character’s true arc of violence and gruesomeness that can be found in the comics. Given that Moon Knight will be back with solo projects, it will do better if MCU makes him rated R because “Moon Knight” certainly has adult themes attached to it. His appearance in one of Marvel’s latest, most gruesome anthologies, “Moon Knight: Black, White, and Blood,” is a testimony to his brutal and violent nature. One of his most gruesome kills is in “Moon Knight” #2 (2006), where he carves off the skin of his enemy’s face with one of his crescent darts. He is also known to carve the crescent moon symbol on the foreheads of his enemies, one for each crime. So, clearly, he has Rated-R vibes and deserves the same in the future of MCU.
This guy deserves to be R-rated whether anyone likes it or not. He is the devil’s bounty hunter. The two Ghost Rider films didn’t really make their mark, although the choice to cast Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze was absolutely perfect. Cage nailed the insanity and unhinged vibe that his character has. And keeping in mind that the Ghost Rider burns his enemies to death, there really is no non-R-Rated way to show it. Funnily enough, Ghost Rider 2, despite having a PG-13 rating, is considered unsuitable for children due to its use of a child as the victim, as well as coarse language. The visual effects are also quite graphic, especially Ghost Rider himself. So hopefully, when Marvel decides to introduce the Ghost Rider to the MCU, he will be Rated-R. But unfortunately, Nicholas Cage won’t play the part.
While all the above-mentioned superheroes have superpowers that make them invulnerable to traditional methods of pain, Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, isn’t so. He is as vulnerable as any other regular human being. His only strengths are his ninja skills and heightened senses. And needless to say, he is quite a threat to his enemies, as made “visible” in Netflix’s “Daredevil,” which is why it was rated TV-MA on the OTT platform. He may be fighting crime in the streets, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous or gruesome. We are about to see him in Disney+ “She-Hulk” and can only hope that he will be close to being rated R if not rated R. He will also have a standalone series to his name where the chances of him being rated R are higher.
Just like Daredevil, Frank Castle, AKA the Punisher, doesn’t have any superpowers. He is an expert marksman with in-depth knowledge of weapons of almost every kind. Netflix’s “The Punisher” was rated 18, and now that it is on Disney+, it still retains its A rating as it should. Those who have seen the show will be able to tell how justified the rating is. Hence, when the Punisher arrives in the MCU, he should carry an R-Rating. Otherwise, frankly, there’s no point in watching him fighting his enemies with his bare hands or even with guns without blood on him. He is called “The Punisher” for a reason.
The MCU is slowly moving towards mature content, so it is high time Disney starts paying attention to the ratings of the shows. Some movies and shows may not involve blood and gore, but there are characters that have viciousness as a part of their arcs. And the above-mentioned Marvel characters lead the pack.