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Joaquin Phoenix's Joker origin movie is likely heading towards being rated R. Warner Bros. is not only attempting to bring a cinematic shared universe to the big screen but they're also interested in expanding the variety of comic book movies. This effort will start with Joker, an origin movie for the Clown Prince of Crime. The project will reportedly be the first film under a new DC banner (possibly called DC Dark or DC Black) that concentrates on making smaller standalone films.
As Joker has come together, there's been a growing sense of excitement around the project. The Hangover and War Dogs director Todd Phillips is helming the movie, but the movie has lined up an impressive cast around Phoenix. Many have wondered if not assumed that the movie would be filled with adult content and language, which would steer it towards being R-rated, and new information points to that being the case.
The GWW is sharing a rumor that Joker may earn that R-rating due to reported nude scenes for several smaller female roles. Their speculation is that this is for strip clubs and burlesque comedy stand-up sets. Even if this scenario for which nudity is required isn't correct, the inclusion of nudity on any level would push Joker into an R-rating.
If this turns out to be the case, Joker would be the latest comic book movie to receive the R rating. While movies like Logan and Deadpool 2 have helped popularize the R-rated movement, WB and DC haven't rejoined the trend. Joker would be the first R-rated DC movie to come out of Warner Bros. since Zack Snyder's Watchmen nearly 10 years ago, not counting the R-rated extended cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that released in 2016. They do appear to be more open to the R-rating label now though, as Margot Robbie teased Birds of Prey could be R-rated too. However, Jared Leto thought Suicide Squad would receive that rating and it wasn't close.
While there's still a long ways to go before the MPAA rating is decided, Joker has long been shaping up to be an R-rated film even before these reported nude scenes. Only two of the nine movies Philips has directed were PG-13; the other seven - and the last five - have been rated R. He is a director who likes to work with more adult content and Phoenix is the same way. The additions of Robert De Niro and Marc Maron also lean more towards an R-rating, as does the likely best way to tell Joker's story. Again, this is just a rumor for now and the film could change over the next year, but it does sound like Joker is on its way to being rated R.