Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Robert Pattinson has been given the PG-13 rating, for ‘violent and disturbing content.’ The standalone film, not connected to the DCEU, is set for release on March 4, 2022.
The Batman will see Bruce Wayne facing up against classic Batman villains The Riddler (Paul Dano) and Penguin (Colin Farrell). Zoe Kravitz also stars, as Catwoman.
While Batman films have been getting progressively darker in tone, they have all been rated PG-13. Going all the way back to Tim Burton’s films starring Michael Keaton – Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) – both received the rating. Joel Schumacher‘s Batman Forever starring Val Kilmer (1995) and Batman & Robin starring George Clooney (1997), which many now consider cartoonish, were still rated PG-13.
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012), starring Christian Bale, were all rated PG-13. As were Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman (2016) and Justice League (2017) starring Ben Affleck. Only Zack Snyder’s 4-hour-long cut of Justice League, which was released on HBO Max last year, was R-rated.
The MPAA have said that; “strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material” is the reasoning for its rating. There were rumours that The Batman would be R-rated, but with the theatrical market so unstable at the moment, due to the pandemic, a PG-13 rating means a wider audience and bigger box office.
The Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix was R-rated and still managed to break the billion dollar box office threshold worldwide, but these are more uncertain times.
The Batman seems to want to push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating though, which is apparent in the way Batman smashes henchmen in the trailer, as well as the fact that the movie revolves around a sadistic serial killer (The Riddler).
If you do want to bone-up on Batman ahead of the release of the latest foray into the dark world of the caped crusader, check out our guide on how to watch the Batman movies in order.