Dwayne Johnson is the main reason the movie didn’t receive a R rating, according to Black Adam’s editor. Johnson is a former athlete who has made a career as a movie actor. He is most recognized for his work in the action blockbusters Hercules, San Andreas, and Skyscraper. One of the highest-paid actors in the business, the actor shot to fame playing the character of Luke Hobbs in the immensely successful Fast & Furious series. As a director of DC League of Super-Pets and Disney’s Moana, Jungle Cruise, and other family-friendly movies, Johnson is also well recognized.
Johnson starred in Black Adam, a superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name that was released in October. The film is a sequel to Shazam! and the eleventh film in the DC Extended Cinematic Universe. In search of the Crown of Sebbac, a powerful item crafted by the tyrant King Ahk-Ton, an archeologist awakens Teth-Adam from his centuries-long slumber, believing him to be the fated hero of legend. She quickly realizes Teth-Adam possesses destructive abilities, and the Justice Society of America is summoned to cope with the looming danger. When the last remaining descendant of King Ahk-Ton use the Crown of Sebbac to unleash demonic demons on the city of Kahndaq, Teth-Adam must team up with the JSA.
In an exclusive conversation with Screen Rant, editor Michael L. Sale explains why Black Adam was not rated R. While the film had lots of potential for darker sequences and more dramatic violence, Sale explains that producers put pressure on him to hold back. Sale was pushed to set the tone for the Black Adam franchise to guarantee the first in the series was a box office triumph due to Johnson’s vast appeal and family-friendly fans. Read the whole quote from Sale below:
“What I was getting from the producers was that we wanted to ensure [it wasn’t too heavy]. It would’ve been easy to make an R-rated version of Black Adam, right? Personally, I would’ve loved it. I would’ve been like, “Oh, let him punch his hand through people. Go nuts,” right? I’m an old dude, and I’m a horror guy. I like all kinds of stuff. I would’ve been happy.”
“There was a thing coming from the director and the producers that, “Hey, we want to make this movie for everybody. Dwayne’s got a huge fan base, and he has a family fan base.” For us, it wasn’t about keeping with any tone of DC, past or present. It was about establishing our tone and our brand and the Black Adam brand. Our tone is like, “Hey, we’re going to be edgy. But it’s also a movie you can take your kids with dad and mom, and you can watch. And it’s not going to be so horrifying that you feel bad,” right?”
“I think the proof is in the pudding because this week, you saw families go and enjoy Black Adam in large numbers. I was really happy that we went in that direction. I think that’s what these movies are for. I think what it does is open up a whole path where DC has options now to do a lot of different things.”
Would Black Adam have had the same success with a R rating?
Black Adam rapidly became a box office success, grossing $67 million in its first weekend, a career record for Johnson. As Sale concedes, the success is due in large part to the families who attended the film’s premiere weekend. R-rated films are less likely to be seen by families who may need to leave younger kids at home. Furthermore, a R rating would preclude the film’s main demographic, teens, from seeing it in theaters. As a result, R-rated films rarely set box office records or have the same wide appeal as more traditional, family-friendly hero films.
Johnson’s stardom is dependent on his impeccable reputation and marketability, which influenced the general tone of Black Adam. While some fans may be dissatisfied by the general change in tone, the film’s huge success proves that it was the right option. Johnson’s wide appeal has injected much-needed audience enthusiasm into the DC Extended Universe.
Source : Screenrant