The box office success of Deadpool has shown that not only are superhero movies popular, but superhero movies with breasts, swearing, and intense violence are also just as popular. To be fair that was probably quite predictable in hindsight. There is a big possibility that Deadpool will be a game-changer in terms of how adult superhero movies in the future can be. With that in mind we’ve pitched six superheroes we would like to see get the full R-rated treatment.

Superman

Doug Mahnke (DC Comics)

Doug Mahnke (DC Comics)

First, calm down, I’m not about to say Superman should be flying around staring at ladies with his x-ray vision and telling Brainiac to go fuck himself. The problem with recent Superman media is that they have made the character too dark and too grim. So how about trying something new. Make Superman the boy scout of the comics. A man who truly believes in the good in people. A man who’s costume was made by his little old lady of a mother. A man who saves cats from trees instead of having a fight in downtown Metropolis that causes a dozen 9/11s. And then you put this beacon of hope and light in an R-rated world. Every single part of the movie would be R-rated except for Supes. Crooks and villains would be dropping F-bombs and doing heinous shit left and right but Superman would rise above it, trying to teach them right from wrong and, for comedy, kicking the occasional robot baddie straight into the sun. -Sean Fallon

The Fantastic Four

Adam Kubert (Marvel Comics)

Adam Kubert (Marvel Comics)

The Fantastic Four is a great concept that seemingly cannot be filmed. Or it can be filmed but you have to animate it, change a few bits, and call it The Incredibles. The difference between FF and other heroes who have had reboots is that whereas Superman, Batman, and Spiderman have had good movies before they got rebooted/remade/recast, The Fantastic Four are currently 0 for 4. Ignoring the fact that the best way to put them on the screen is to make a TV series about them set in the 60s, perhaps the good people at Fox need to come at the family in a different direction. So far family drama and young adult movies have failed so perhaps its time for a sharp right turn into body horror territory. Rather than looking at other superhero movies as inspiration, maybe look towards The Fly instead. An R-rated horror movie about four people hideously altered by space radiation and how they learn to they use their grotesque mutations for good would be definitely different than watching a pair of movies which seem to be written around scenes of forcing Jessica Alba to strip down to her underwear. -Sean Fallon

The Guardians of the Galaxy

Stuart Immonen (Marvel Comics)

Stuart Immonen (Marvel Comics)

Unfortunately, this one is more of a complaint. Now we don’t like to complain here at Audiences Everywhere. There is too much negativity in the film criticism world, which can sometimes be overwhelming especially when it’s more fun to love something and find its positives and share them. That being said, my complaint is that Guardians of the Galaxy, while very good, could have been incredible. The idea that the director/writer of Super, the best satire of superhero movies ever made, was going to direct something with as mad a concept as Guardians of the Galaxy was too good to be true. The problem was that rather than making something hugely wrong and subversive, Gunn made a comic book movie. It had all the usual beats with a single thin coat of rebellion with some of the humour and language, but it never broke through to make a bold statement about the genre like Super does. So I’m saying The Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 needs to be R-rated and the Crimson Bolt needs to join the team shouting ‘Shut up, space crime!’ -Sean Fallon

Midnighter

Bryan Hitch (DC Comics)

Bryan Hitch (DC Comics)

An adaptation of DC’s Midnighter could not be done without an R-rating. Think of the guy as a physically enhanced Batman with a propensity for violently killing his foes — often in the most gruesome, gory way possible — rather than capturing and/or locking them up. Flip to just about any page of any issue of Midnighter and chances are you will find an almost cartoonishly blood fight scene going on. A film adaptation could potentially have a lot of fun with action like this (just look at the action in Deadpool) as well as the bizarre sci-fi elements that often find their way worked into his stories as long as they don’t neuter the violence. The other major aspect of any Midnighter story is the focus on his sexuality. Midnighter is currently one of the only gay characters in mainstream comics. He is completely open about this and 100% without shame. He has hooked up with a number of dudes throughout his series which, given the tendencies of the MPAA, would all but guarantee an R-rating no matter how explicit the film would make this. If Midnighter is going to be unfairly stuck the rating regardless, the filmmakers might as well go all out with the violence and sexuality. -Ryan MacLean

Wolverine

Steve McNiven (Marvel Comics)

Steve McNiven (Marvel Comics)

Yes, Wolverine has occasionally been adapted quite well in the past with, at most, a PG-13 rating. While many might point to the tameness of the violence, and how it doesn’t fit a character who slices people to pieces, I don’t necessarily buy that. Hell, the action beats in The Wolverine managed to have a real, visceral impact without resorting to buckets of blood and gore. They worked because of the brutal, animalistic quality that James Mangold brought to the fights. Of course, this is just one instance where the films got him right but it could still be taken even further. This is why I’d openly welcome an R-rated version of Wolverine, especially with the third solo Wolverine movie on its way. Though the action in the last one was great, it still felt limited by what it could do with the PG-13 rating given the nature of the character and his abilities. If an R-rating brings with it opportunities for the character to be dropped into some creatively gonzo, bloody action sequences the I say bring it on. Alternatively if they wanted to go for some more grounded, affecting violence an R-rating would give them greater freedom to do that. -Ryan MacLean

Spawn

Todd McFarlane (Image Comics)

Todd McFarlane (Image Comics)

Remember how back in 1997 a godawful PG-13 adaptation of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn was released? Remember how weak both the action and supernatural horror elements were? Well the fact of the matter is that Spawn deserves better than that toned-down lameness. Spawn deserves another chance at an adaptation, but this time with the spectacular, gruesome, R-rated violence and horror that it should have had in the first place. What it needs this time around is a director who knows how to utilize special effects as well as straddle the line between horror and action. It’s going to need a realistic budget. One of the greatest failings of the original is the cheapness of the visuals, as result of it being made before the advent of modern, financially viable superhero blockbusters. If all of these elements come together in the right way and, studio willing, it get the R-rating that the material desperately needs, we could be in for one truly awesome adaptation of Spawn. -Ryan MacLean

Featured Image: Steve Dillon and Matt Milla (Marvel Comics)