Superhero movies like Logan and Deadpool have proven that there’s room for R-rated comic book movies in a market that has traditionally aimed to be as accessible as possible. As a result, many comic book-loving moviegoers have called for more mature, R-rated superhero films. While the box office success of Logan and Deadpool means there is likely a whole host of mature comic book movies on the horizon, it’s not a formula that fits for every franchise. Such is the case with Wonder Woman.
Patty Jenkins, the director of Wonder Woman, recently confirmed as much in an interview with CinemaBlend. The film’s historical setting would have fit nicely with an R rating, but that wouldn’t have allowed Jenkins to reach the audience she was hoping to attract:
“I cared a lot about it never being an R-rating. And I totally support the movies that do have an R-rating, but in this case I was very aware that little girls were going to want to see the film, and I was very protective of that. So it had to not be Rated R to me. I would have been happy to go for PG, but it’s World War I, so we couldn’t!”
World War I was a particularly vicious war that claimed the lives of over 17 million soldiers and civilians and left over 20 million wounded. The war marks the emergence of the technological era of warfare, and was the first instance of widespread chemical weapons usage. World War I also marked the first use of early tanks and airplanes in combat, while most of the conflict happened between soldiers dug into shallow ditches in the ground called trenches. A true, visceral depiction of World War I would have likely netted Wonder Woman a hard R rating — if Jenkins had wanted to take the film there.
Wonder Woman sees Princess Diana of Themyscira (Gal Gadot) leave her mystical home island after a United States Army Air Service pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crash lands and informs the island’s Amazonian inhabitants of the war raging beyond the seas. Diana ventures to war-torn Europe to end the bloody conflict that has been kept alive and made all the worse by supernatural forces.
Debuting in theaters on June 2, Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 and is a production of DC Films directed by Patty Jenkins that stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Ares and Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta.