It took a while for this era of comic book movies to be okay with going R-rated, but it was usually because of violence, not because your favorite superheroes suddenly became Veep-level potty mouths. That’s about to change, sort of. Zack Snyder told Entertainment Weekly about some new developments with his much-anticipated “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, DCEU’s infamously troubled attempt at an Avengers-style mash-up. And one tidbit is this: You’re finally going to hear Batman drop an f-bomb.
Snyder was hyping his new version, which will be broken into four hour-long episodes and dropped onto HBO Max next year. While it has yet to be evaluated by the MPAA, he’s sure it won’t be your usual comic book movie PG-13.
“The movie is insane and so epic and is probably rated R — that’s one thing I think will happen, that it will be an R-rated version, for sure,” Snyder said. And what are some things that will make it restricted to those under 17? “There’s one scene where Batman drops an F-bomb.”
That’s one notch above what Frank Miller infamously did to Batman in his All Star Batman & Robin run in the mid-aughts, which was so gritty that he had the Caped Crusader utter the meme-able words, “I’m the G*ddamn Batman.”
But there’s more! Snyder suggested Ray Fisher’s Cyborg is a little loose with his language, saying, “he tends to speak his mind.” Meanwhile, main baddie Steppenwolf doesn’t cuss but he “is pretty much just hacking people in half.” Ergo, Snyder says, the R-rating would be due to “violence and profanity, probably both.”
There was another big reveal about the rehabbed Justice League. Even though this new cut is essentially made for TV (or at least streaming), it may wind up playing in theaters, too. “I’m a huge fan and a big supporter of the cinematic experience, and we’re already talking about Justice League playing theatrically at the same time it’s coming to HBO Max,” Snyder told EW. “So weirdly, it’s the reverse [of the trend].”
Snyder was referring to the controversial news that Warner Bros., which owns Justice League, will drop its entire 2021 film slate onto their new streamer HBO Max the same day they hit theaters. That decision has not been met kindly by certain Warner’s filmmakers, especially not another Batman movie director, Christopher Nolan. Snyder had some thoughts about the move himself:
“It felt like a pretty bold move and that maybe the implication wasn’t 100 percent thought out … I feel like there’s a lot of people panicking during COVID. I hope that, in the end, that’s what this was — some sort of knee-jerk to COVID and not some sort of greater move to disrupt the theatrical experience. I thought we were kind of already getting very close to the ideal theatrical window where you still had marketing material out there and you hadn’t forgotten about the film by the time it came out on DVD or streaming. I thought we were starting to hone in on that sweet spot, but this kind of throws a monkey wrench in the works.”
So there you have it: You’ll get to hear Ben Affleck’s Batman deploy an f-bomb. Perhaps it will be as forced and anticlimactic as that time Samuel L. Jackson was brought in for re-shoots on Snakes on a Plane, just so he could appease the internet and drop a double “motherf*cker.” But given how much world-weariness Affleck brought to his iteration of Bruce Wayne, it might actually be good.