Yann Demange, the director of the upcoming MCU Blade movie, has claimed his big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s sword-wielding vampire hunter will be R-rated.
That news will probably be a sweet relief to those who feared the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Blade would be a sanitized version of their favorite Marvel character. Still, it sounds like Demange only wanted to make the superhero movie if he could secure an R-rating.
“They gave me the R, which is so important,” Demange told Deadline. “For Blade, we are going to have fun because Mahershala is such a deep actor. I’m excited to show a kind of ruthlessness, a roughness he has, that allows him to walk the earth in a particular way.”
“I love him for that,” he continued. “He’s got a dignity and integrity, but there is a ferocity there that he usually keeps under the surface. I want to unleash that and put it on the screen.”
We don’t want to dampen anyone’s expectations. Still, it’s probably worth saying that Marvel Studios has not officially confirmed the upcoming Marvel movie’s rating yet, and there were rumors just the other week that the Blade release date had been delayed to allow for a complete rewrite.
We should also note that Kevin Feige had previously claimed the film wouldn’t get an R-rating, telling Deadline (Via The Direct) that of all the films currently in production for Marvel’s Phase 5 and Phase 6, only Deadpool 3 was going to get an R-rating.
“Other than Deadpool, which has already established itself as a certain genre and a certain rating, that we already said we would not mess with when we started working on Deadpool,” Feige explained. “Other than that, we haven’t encountered a story or a storyline or a character’s journey that a PG-13 rating, or the tone, or the ratings we’ve been using up to this point has prevented us [from telling that story.]”
That said, the recent reported turbulence at Marvel Studios and waning interest in the MCU might have convinced Feige and the suits at Disney that they need to broaden the appeal of Marvel movies. An easy way to do that would be to lean into other genres and tones beyond the standard Marvel formula.
We’ve already heard about Marvel Spotlight, a new brand of Marvel series made for people who aren’t as familiar with the ongoing story of the MCU. Perhaps Marvel could have a line of darker Elseworld tales similar to the DCU’s Joker movies? They sort of did this for Werewolf by Night already, and that was fantastic. Unfortunately, considering the MCU made its name by keeping its films interconnected, we just don’t see that happening.
If you want to know more about the wider MCU, check out our exhaustive guide explaining how to watch all the Marvel movies in order. We’ve also got a guide breaking down everything about the new movie, The Marvels. If you need to know more about that, we recommend checking out our article explaining who’s in The Marvels cast.