'Black Adam', Dwayne Johnson's latest, took 'a lot of edits' to avoid R rating

Oct 18, 2022

Washington [US], October 18 : Dwayne Johnson's starrer 'Black Adam' producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia confirmed that the movie originally received R-rating by the MPA.
"Just kill them," says Dwayne Johnson's title character says at one point in Black Adam, according to his co-star Mo Amer. The comedian said he was taken aback by the departure from the honourable tough-guy persona Johnson has crafted through so many other films, as per the reports of Deadline.
"It just took me a second to recalibrate and be like, 'Oh wow, this is going to be amazing,' " Amer told Collider recently. "He just completely -- he obviously has a body of work, but you don't see The Rock. You see Black Adam, truly."
The producers claimed that they wanted to give the character and the movie a darker, more brutal tone, but this caused some problems with the MPA.
According to Deadline, producer Beau Flynn told Collider it took "four rounds [with the MPA], and [the movie] just got the PG-13, I think, maybe four or five weeks ago."
Although Deadpool and Logan have shown that a comic book franchise is not doomed if it receives an R rating, excluding the majority of teenagers from the theatre would seem to violate the enormous economic possibility that is Johnson as (perhaps) the most powerful hero in Washington, D.C. universe.
But according to producer Hiram Garcia, maintaining a darker tone was necessary to honour the franchise's history.
"We really wanted to make sure that we honored the character of Black Adam," Garcia said in a report by Deadline. "One of the things he's known for is his aggression and violence, and to do a Black Adam movie that didn't have that just wouldn't have been authentic. So we always went into this knowing that we were going to push it as far as we did. We knew it was going to be a collaborative process with the [MPA] to finally get it to where we were able, to get that rating, but we were able to pull it off. But it was really important for us to do that. And that's something Dwayne was very committed to as well."
"Black Adam does kill openly a lot of bad guys," says Aldis Hodge who plays Hawkman in the movie. "I think it's important to know he's killing bad guys -- for the sake of the people that he's protecting and for his moral compass. But along with that, it really is a backdrop to the real conversation that we're having in terms of, what is good and evil? What is right and wrong? And to what extent do you go, to what lengths do you reach to accomplish what you believe is actual justice?"
"We did have to make a lot of edits, actually," admitted Flynn. "There are some personal moments that we really love, but we had to let them go. But we never compromised; we never had to cut a scene. We had some really cool moments, and if you notice, there are some great moments when Black Adam is in the fly bike-chase sequence and drops one of the intergang soldiers. Then there's this great moment where the truck bounces over the body. But ... you can't play it safe, and you have to go for it. And I think we have four or five of those. At one point we had about 10, and we were able to find some compromise with the [MPA] on that."
While the film did finally get its PG-13, those rawer moments might not be lost forever.
"There are going to be some features for when we release on home video and streaming," Flynn promised.
Black Adam tells the origin story of the titular antihero, one of the most powerful metahumans of the DC universe.