During the TCA (via Deadline), Marvel’s Kevin Feige talked a little about Deadpool 3 and the reasoning behind keeping an R-rating that was previously established with the first two films. He seems to allude that they’re not rushing out to make a whole bunch of mature projects but if that something deserves it they’ll have discussions.
FEIGE: “I think we target everything we’re doing for kids and adults, so I think your question is more adult or R-rated. 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 — which we have — other than that, we haven’t encountered a story or a storyline or a character’s journey that a PG-13, or the tone, or the ratings we’ve been using up to this point has prevented us. We haven’t been held back by. If we ever are, than certainly there can be a discussion that can be had now that there’s other outlets like Star. But that just hasn’t been the case. We’ve told all the stories that we wanted to with the tonality and the rating we have now.”
I think Star certainly opens the door for mature series in the future but I don’t think we’ll see PG-13 characters make the jump to R out of the blue.
However, the way Kevin Feige talks about audiences having expectations about future Deadpool movies being mature feels like that point of view could be applied to the Blade franchise too. It was recently announced that the Blade reboot, titled Blade, The Vampire Hunter, nabbed a screenwriter Stacy Osei-Kuffour (Hunters, Watchmen), but it hasn’t been officially confirmed if they’ll be aiming for a PG-13 or R-rating.
I think it’s worth considering that all three Blade movies are mature (Feige was a producer on Blade: Trinity) and given that Eric Brooks essentially murderers blood drinking vampires an R-rating just might be needed due the nature of the Vampire Nation and the violence the franchise is know for, not unlike the Deadpool films.
Blade really should be essentially an action-horror version of John Wick, but watering down the violence or horror stuff for a PG-13 rating feels like a really bad idea on Marvel’s part. I love the Blade franchise but the films aren’t exactly character driven and while Marvel Studios will likely add that element taking away things we expect seems wrong.
A scene like the blood rave just couldn’t happen in a PG-13 film because of how the MPAA punishes movies for their use of blood. Marvel Studios movies certainly have their fair share of violence but nothing that compares to Blade.
We’ve seen PG-13 and R versions of both Wolverine and Punisher, but traditionally we know as Blade as a mature anti-hero just like Wade Wilson.