3:42pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel's Kevin Feige: 'Black Widow' Movie Will Not Be Rated R
Bad news, fans who wanted to see Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel alter ego swear a bunch and commit ultraviolence: The Black Widow movie is not going to be rated R — and, according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, the idea of making it R-rated was never under consideration.
"It never was going to be [R-rated]," Feige told ComicBook.com. "Somebody writes, 'I hear it's R-rated!' And then everybody writes it up." When asked if this could be considered as him officially quashing the rumor, he responded, "Yes. Correct."
The first solo outing for Johansson’s character has been a topic of much speculation since The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Cate Shortland had signed on to direct last July. Origins of the idea that the movie could be R-rated are somewhat murky, but appear to have come from the suggestion that Marvel was considering R-rated movies for some point in the future.
To date, every Marvel Studios movie has been rated PG-13, although a number of features starring Marvel characters — most recently Deadpool, but also the Blade and Punisher movies — have been rated R, but were made by other studios.
Disney is in the process of acquiring 21st Century Fox — and, with it, the R-rated Deadpool franchise. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that Deadpool will remain R-rated under the family-friendly company's ownership. As for Feige, back in 2017, before the merger was a possibility, he addressed the notion of R-rated Marvel Studios films when asked about the success of Fox's R-rated Logan and Deadpool.
"My takeaway from both of those films is not the R rating; it's the risk they took, the chances they took, the creative boundaries that they pushed," Feige said in 2017. "That should be the takeaway for everyone."
The Black Widow film will be a prequel and does not yet have a release date. Johansson is said to be earning a $15 million payday for the project. Johansson will next appear in April's Avengers: Endgame.