The Batman's Official Rating Has Fans Debating the 'Limitations' of PG-13 Films

With director Matt Reeves' upcoming Robert Pattinson-led DC film The Batman having officially been rated PG-13 by the MPA for "violence, disturbing content and strong language," fans and critics alike are debating the supposed limitations of PG-13 films on social media. Many are pointing out that a number of movies -- including Batman movies -- have more than managed to push the envelope despite being rated PG-13.

Invoking Tim Burton's Batman Returns, film critic Scott Mendelson tweeted an excerpt from his own Forbes article, reading "The last time we got a dark and violent PG-13 Batman movie starring Penguin and Catwoman, the nationwide controversy and backlash changed mainstream blockbusters forever."

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Adam Hlaváč, meanwhile, pointed to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, a film itself generated conversations about just how boundary-pushing PG-13 movies could be upon its release in 2008. "This was also rated PG-13 and pushed the boundary line for Batman on film," Hlaváč wrote. "[The Batman] has some wiggle room to move the boundary line a bit more if needed.

A number of other users have pointed out that The Batman is likely to still be rather dark, despite being PG-13, not only due to the brooding promotional material and the character's on-screen history, but also due to Reeves' Planet of the Apes films, which tested the limits of PG-13 in their own right. Other PG-13 films being cited as boundary-pushing include Cloverfield, Insidious and Split.

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A number of fans were disappointed when it was confirmed that The Batman was rated PG-13, as some were holding out hope that the film would earn an R rating so as to allow for even more mature content. However, while there has certainly been a recent uptick in R-rated DC movies -- such as Joker, Birds of Prey, The Suicide Squad and Zack Snyder's Justice League -- it's highly unlikely that such a rating was ever on the table for The Batman.

As other users on Twitter have pointed out, most live-action feature films starring the Dark Knight are rated PG-13, as are the vast majority of superhero films in general these days, so it's not exactly surprising that The Batman would follow suit. Furthermore, even before the MPA's rating went public, The Batman's PG-13 rating was effectively confirmed all the way back in October when the film received official LEGO sets, considering LEGO's well-known policy against making toys based on R-rated properties.

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The Batman hits theaters on March 4.

Source: Twitter

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Noah E. Dominguez is a jr. news editor at Comic Book Resources who joined the site as a writer in the summer of 2018. He has also written for sites like WhatCulture and Gaming Access Weekly (formerly Gamer Assault Weekly), and holds a degree in mass communication. What will he do next? Stay tuned. You can follow him on Twitter at @NoahDominguez_

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