In just a few days, Black Adam will smash into theaters and at long last fulfill Dwayne Johnson’s goal of playing the title character on the big screen. The movie has been over a decade in the making, and the filmmakers had to make a few compromises along the way. One of those compromises concerned the film’s rating. While speaking with Collider, Black Adam producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia confirmed that the movie was originally rated R by the MPA. This ultimately forced them to make some tweaks to the body count.
Virtually all of Black Adam’s marketing has emphasized the character’s flexible moral code. In other words, he’s an anti-hero who isn’t afraid to get blood on his hands once. But even though there’s definitely a market for R-rated comic book adaptations, it sounds like Flynn, Garcia, and their collaborators wanted the film to reach as wide of an audience as possible without completely sacrificing Black Adam’s ruthless personality.
“We really wanted to make sure that we honored the character of Black Adam,” said Garcia. “One of the things he’s known for is his aggression and violence, and to do a Black Adam movie that didn’t have that just wouldn’t have been authentic. So we always went into this knowing that we were going to push it as far as we did. We knew it was going to be a collaborative process with the MPAA to finally get it to where we were able, to get that rating, but we were able to pull it off. But it was really important for us to do that. And that’s something Dwayne was very committed to as well.”
Flynn claims it took “four rounds” with the review board before the MPA finally bestowed its PG-13 rating. Unfortunately, the edits wound up cutting roughly twice as many scenes where Johnson brutally dispatches one of his enemies. Luckily, Flynn says a few cool features are in store for the film’s Blu-ray release, which hints at the possibility of an unrated director’s cut. And if the first movie is a success, it could always open the door for more violent sequels.
“We did have to make a lot of edits, actually,” added Flynn. “There are some personal moments that we really love, but we had to let them go. But we never compromised, we never had to cut a scene. We had some really cool moments, and if you notice, there are some great moments when Black Adam is in the fly bike chase sequence and drops one of the intergang soldiers. Then there’s this great moment where the truck bounces over the body. But those are moments that you need and remember in these movies, you know what I mean? You can’t play it safe, and you have to go for it. And I think we have four or five of those. At one point we had about ten, and we were able to find some compromise with the MPAA on that.”
Black Adam opens in theaters this Friday, October 21.
Do you think the film should have been rated R? Let us know in the comment section below!
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