Based on the trailers, Matt Reeves' The Batman is looking like it is going to be the most gritty and violent take on the Caped Crusader yet on the big screen. When it was reported that the film is going to be PG-13, there were some fans who were upset as they were expecting it to be R-rated due to the film's perceived violent tone. But as it turns out, it was actually meant to be PG-13 in the first place.
Speaking with Den of Geek, Reeves revealed that The Batman was always planned to be PG-13 in the first place even with its gritty tone. "In my mind, the movie was always going to be a gritty, edgy, noir, thrilling spectacle that was PG-13," he said. "That was always what it was, but I always knew that we’d be pushing the limits of what that could be, and so we didn’t really have to cut anything. The promotional materials that you’re seeing, they’re fully reflective of the tone of the movie."
He also dismissed the speculations that the film will ever have an R-rated cut, "There isn’t some special cut of this movie where it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, here’s the R rating that you’ve been desperately wanting,’ I didn’t have to suddenly start drastically cutting the movie or anything like that."
There really is no problem that The Batman is going to be PG-13 despite its gritty and violent tone. While they can have some brutal action scenes where we see Batman intensely beating up a lot of people, it can still be done in the constraint of the PG-13 rating. Films like The Dark Knight and Batman Begins have proved that you can still do a gritty and violent film without going to R-rating territory.
It also makes sense from a business standpoint to make The Batman PG-13 since they will be able to attract more moviegoers, unlike an R-rating where there is a limitation on which type of audience can go to see the film. Also, all Batman films in the past have been rated PG-13 with the exception being Joker which is more like a character study and a psychological drama rather than a straight-up superhero film. In the end, The Batman doesn't need to be R-rated in order to be great and the important thing is the story and the characters were well-written.
The Batman is set to be released in theaters on March 4.