5 Comics That Should Get the “Rated-R” Treatment

Well that didn’t take long. After Deadpool raked in over twice the expected haul, the honchos at Fox decided to announce that the next solo Wolverine flick will also be rated “R”. Whereas the title character in Deadpool was known for foul language and immature hijinks, Wolverine is more known for ripping things to bloody shreds with his adamantium claws. So expect less potty-mouth jokes and more violence.

It’s a risky call for Fox. Wolverine has already been in a number of X-Men films, and none of those were rated R. The character is also featured in a number of kid-friendly cartoons. But if Fox is truly trying to rebrand itself in the comic book movie rivalry with Disney and Warner Brothers, having Wolverine 3 go full Tarantino wouldn’t be a bad idea.

That said, this news had me thinking: what other comic book properties could benefit from an R-rated – or perhaps TV-MA – production? Here’s my list:

1. OLD MAN LOGAN

This has been the rumored inspiration behind the next Wolverine flick, and with all of the blood-and-guts on display in this futuristic yarn, it would need an R-rating. The final battle itself would be a tough moment for even the most stoic moviegoers.

Potential Problems: it would be virtually impossible to bring this movie to life in any way close to the source material, with important characters like Hawkeye, Hulk, and Red Skull all belonging to Disney.

2. FABLES

Hey, you know how Once Upon A Time has made its rounds again and again on ABC? Well, Fables – a long-running Vertigo Comics series – has a similar story, except much more violent and profane. The Big Bad Wolf serves as the chain-smoking protagonist, and there are plenty of interesting characters – such as an unhinged Goldilocks, a womanizing Prince Charming, and a Pinocchio that has an adult’s attitude in a boy’s body – to keep things moving along.

Potential Problem: Though they could do movies introducing different story arcs, Fables might be better served as a television series rather than a feature film. But it would have to be TV-MA.

3. SEX CRIMINALS

This award-winning comic from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky would probably need to rating from the title alone. The premise wouldn’t help matters: An actor and a librarian hook up, and following coitus, discover that a shared orgasm by them really can freeze time. They decide to take advantage of this to do some less-than-legal things.

Potential problems: Getting this to be simply rated R might be a challenge in an of itself. This story would probably land an NC-17 rating. But it’s still a great little yarn.

4. HARLEY QUINN

Bear with me on this: I know that the Joker’s best gal originated on a cartoon, but recent versions of her have her a bit crazy and a lot violent. In many ways, she could be DC/Warner Bros. answer to Deadpool, albeit with a crazy female lead.

Potential problems: Honestly, I see few except that the brass at Warner Bros have seemed determine to suck the fun out of their comic book movies. I suppose Suicide Squad might change that but we will have to wait and see.

5. SAGA

Nope, I couldn’t get through one comic list without mentioning the breathtaking beauty of a story that is Saga. And within all of that story is a whole lot of blood, sex, and language. It would be a great story to hook a whole new generation of filmgoers. Sci-fi/fantasy with just enough weird to keep you amazed, and at its heart, a story about family. Just the best.