One of the typical things that you will see when an actor or actress is trying to get cast as a superhero in a superhero film is that they go on a super intense workout regimen. Robert Downey Jr. once talked about how intense his workout regimen was for Iron Man and he was just playing a guy in a suit of armor! These workouts can change the whole appearances of actors, as previously down-to-Earth sitcom stars like Chris Pratt and John Krasinski suddenly looked like they were Men’s Fitness models after they were done getting their bodies into superhero shape (and Krasinski did it for Captain America — a role he didn’t even get in the end!).
When you put that much work into your body, it’s only natural to want to show it off, and as such, superhero films often show a good deal of skin, whether they are PG-13 or R-Rated. The R-Rated films, of course, show the most, but you’d be surprised by how much skin a PG-13 movie can show. Here, then, are the superhero films that showed the most skin.
15. SUPERMAN III
Lorelei Ambrosia (played by Pamela Stephenson) is a fascinating character because it is rare to have someone in any superhero film who is there strictly as an object of lust. When we first meet Ambrosia in Superman III, she is walking down the street and she is so distracting that she causes a pile of mishaps as men keep staring at her and run into each other and drop things that they are holding. It is bedlam.
She even ends up seducing Superman and having sex with him (at a point where Superman’s mind was altered due to exposure to an artificial form of kryptonite). However, Lorelei actually tends to wear a lot of clothes throughout the movie. Only in a few key scenes (like Superman’s seduction) does she show much skin at all. Those scenes are so prominent, though, that she still makes the list.
14. JONAH HEX
In the Jonah Hex comic books, there is an interesting character named Tallulah Black who saw her entire family murdered in front of her by some armed goons. They then raped her and stabbed her and shot her in the head, leaving her for dead. She somehow survived (although she lost an eye in the process) and got Jonah Hex to train her to become a killer. She then avenged her family and became, in effect, a female Jonah Hex.
In the Jonah Hex movie, however, Tallulah is instead “Lilah” and is a beautiful (scar-less) prostitute played by Megan Fox. She wears skimpy 19th Century style clothing throughout the film. Since it’s still the 19th Century, that tends to mean that it’s not that skimpy, but they certainly try to show as much skin as the can.
13. WONDER WOMAN
When we first meet Diana in Wonder Woman, she is a young girl who wants to be trained as an Amazon warrior like all of the other people who live on the beautiful island of Themyscira, secluded home of the Amazons. However, her mother, Queen Hippolyta, initially forbids it. In the end, though, Diana gets her wish and is trained among her sisters. When she gets to train with them, she also begins to dress like them.
The Amazons are strong and powerful fighters, but they also tend to not wear a whole lot of clothing outside of some armor, so while it does not detract from the overall message of female empowerment present throughout the film, there was still a whole lot of skin being shown in this film. Wonder Woman’s costume, in particular, shows off a ton of flesh… not that anyone was really complaining.
12. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see Wolverine in perhaps the only truly happy romantic relationship that we see him in in any of the various films featuring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (perhaps briefly with Mariko in The Wolverine, but they were on the run at the time, so it is hard to count that as truly happy). Of course, as it turned out, his relationship with Silver Fox was all part of a lie.
That lie ultimately led to Wolverine getting experimented on and when he broke free, Hugh Jackman was awfully naked for a large chunk of the film. Jackman is naked in a lot of the X-Men films, but this one was probably the most extensive nudity for the actor (all conveniently covered up, of course, since it was a PG-13 film).
Pretty much every film with the Hulk in it could technically qualify for this list, so we made the decision to just feature one of the films, since otherwise we’d have four films on the list (Hulk, Incredible Hulk, Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron) all just for one CGI-created character, the Hulk. So we instead picked the film that showed the most skin as a symbol for all four Hulk film appearances.
Ang Lee’s Hulk not only showed plenty of sequences of the monstrous Hulk, who scientist Bruce Banner transforms into when he gets angry, but there were also a number of shots of Eric Bana naked as Bruce Banner when the Hulk transformed back into him, and was thus without clothes, since the Hulk destroyed those threads during the transformation.
Like the Hulk, Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine also tends to get naked a lot in his films (even if it is just a flashback sequence to his time in the experimental tanks where Weapon X gave him his adamantium skeleton and claws), but Logan was actually the first Wolverine film to be rated R, so it had to go a level beyond that.
Therefore, in an early montage showing Logan’s monotonous job as a limousine driver, the film made sure to lock in that R-rating with a sequence where a bride-to-be in a bridal shower flashed her naked breasts at Logan. It’s an odd scene and could easily be removed from the film without anyone really missing it. It seemed to be more a case of “Hey, we’re an R film, we should have some nudity, right?”
Just like the first Judge Dredd film, 2012’s reboot of the franchise, Dredd, was rated R. However, while the first film was strictly rated R for violence, the reboot also worked in some sex into the equation. How they did it was fascinating. Dredd made a point of including Judge Anderson, who was left out of the first film. Judge Anderson (played by Olivia Thirlby) is a telepath.
In the film, she encounters a suspect and he tries to use her telepathy against her by bombarding her with images of him violently having sex with her. We see these scenes flash before her eyes and we see a big section of graphic sex and nudity, although shot with a filter so that it is somewhat obscured. In the end, though, Anderson is more adept at her powers than the suspect and ends up breaking him with her mind.
8. SUICIDE SQUAD
In a number of reviews of the Suicide Squad film, people noted that while Will Smith’s Deadshot and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn were the lead actors in the movie, Margot Robbie’s butt likely qualified for Best Supporting Actress, with how much the film spent focused on it. Right from the sequence early in the film where everyone is given their weapons and gear and she does a strip tease in front of everyone while changing into her outfit, it was clear how the film was going to handle the depiction of Harley in this film.
Throughout the movie, she not only wears very little, but they also make sure to spent as much camera time as possible ogling over her. Like when she takes a break in the middle of their mission to smash a store window and steal a necklace. She, of course, bends over to get the necklace, baring her bum to the camera.
In 2004’s Catwoman, Halle Berry plays Patience Phillips, a really meek cosmetics designer who discovers that her company is about to sell a very dangerous new cosmetic and she is killed for it. Luckily, a magical cat brings her back to life and it gives her cat-like superpowers.
Also, for whatever reason, her return to life and her new powers result in her wanting to wear as little clothing as possible in her new superhero costume as Catwoman. It’s actually one of the most bizarrely skimpy superhero costumes ever, as it isn’t even missing clothing in the normal areas where you would think a costume would be skimpy. For instance, her legs are completely covered, but then she is wearing basically just a bra as a top, with a couple of straps across her torso.
6. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Even without Hugh Jackman’s obligatory Wolverine nudity, X-Men: First Class managed to show the most skin out of all of the X-Men films. One of the primary subplots within the film was Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique coming to terms with her true mutant self, and that involved trying to seduce the Beast and after that didn’t work out the way she wanted, Magneto. She shows a lot of skin in those scenes.
However, more prominent is Emma Frost (January Jones), who walks around in negligee the whole film and Angel (Zoe Kravitz), who we meet when Professor X and Magneto go to visit her at a strip club. Angel does not get naked herself (the film is PG-13) but her outfit doesn’t leave a whole lot to the imagination.
One of the most surprising blockbuster superhero movies of all-time, Deadpool changed people’s minds about what an R-rated superhero movie could achieve at the box office. It opened up a whole lot of avenues for future films. In addition, its rating allowed it to have a sex scene unlike any other ever attempted before in a superhero film, where Wade Wilson and his girlfriend, Vanessa, basically have a montage that is a year’s worth of sex, denoting the various holidays as they hit them.
Later, there is a scene in a strip club with some nudity. Stan Lee was there, but rest assured that the scene was shot in such a way that Lee was not present when the naked women were there (not saying that Lee would be offended, just noting that that is how they did it in the movie). Also, of course, there was the scene where Gina Carano’s character has a wardrobe malfunction and uses it to beat up Colossus. Smart.
4. KICK ASS 2
While both Kick Ass films were rated R, the first Kick Ass movie was relatively restrained in the sex and nudity department. Almost as if to make up for that, the second Kick Ass film went way overboard with sex and nudity. Beyond superheroes having sex (as there are more superheroes in this second film), the film also features the villainous Mother F**ker, whose villain crew hangs out with a lot of strippers who go topless within the film… naturally!
On top of that, there’s also a funny sequence where the former Hit Girl tries to fit in at school by doing a dance based on her fighting skills. That followed the school’s resident mean girl basically doing a stripper routine in front of everyone.
3. SWAMP THING
Typically, when movies are released to DVD or BluRay, you often get the “Unrated Cut” offered as an attempt to make some extra money by trying to sell the version of the movie that existed before scenes were taken out so that the movie could get a less strict rating. Like removing nudity or violence to go down from an R to a PG-13 rating.
However, in the case of Swamp Thing, when the 1982 film showed up on VHS in the 1980s, they actually removed a few scenes involving nudity (including a few scenes involving the female lead of the film, Adrienne Barebau, topless in the swamp) so that the VHS version could be PG-rated and sell more copies. When the film went on to DVD, an international cut of the film returned the nudity.
2. BARB WIRE
In 1993, Dark Horse released its own shared comic book superhero universe called Comics’ Greatest World. One of the superheroes introduced was Barb Wire, a sexy bar owner who worked as a bounty hunter to help keep her bar in business. The blonde, busty hero was a perfect fit when Pamela Anderson was looking for movie projects.
The 1996 film, Barb Wire, was a mess, but it was at least an ambitious mess. Set in the far-off future of 2017, the film is a futuristic update of the plot of the World War II film, Casablanca, with Barb Wire in the Rick role. Again, it is not a good update of Casablanca, but they deserve credit for being gutsy enough to try it.
After the success of his R-Rated adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300, Zack Snyder was given the chance to do an R-rated adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic superhero comic book series, Watchmen. The comic book very much needed an R-rated adaptation, and one of the areas where this was evident was when it came to nudity.
Doctor Manhattan famously was nude (and blue) for most of the film, including a scene where he created clones of himself to pleasure his girlfriend, Silk Spectre. There’s even the very rare full frontal male nudity. Later in the movie, Silk Spectre has a rather graphic attempt to have a sex scene with Nite Owl. That does not work out, but after they do some superhero work, that gets Nite Owl going and they successfully have a graphic sex scene.
Is there a superhero film with a lot of skin that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments section!
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