Batman v Superman R-rated edition heading to Blu-ray

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will get itself a gritty, violent, R-rated alternate version – at least, on Blu-ray.

The film’s theatrical release carries a standard PG-13 rating. But in its latest bulletin, the MPAA (America’s de facto censor board) revealed that a home ent version of Zack Snyder’s superhero battle movie – entitled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition – has been rated R.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Before you think this involves Clark Kent exposing his man of steel, it’s been given the rating for “sequences of violence”. This makes sense, given what we’ve heard from Snyder and his team. The director told us he is a “fanatic” admirer of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic series, which took Bats into an extremely dark and brooding place.

The alternate edition may also in part be down to Deadpool’s record-breaking success at the box-office, which has left many studio executives stroking their chins and pondering a new strategy. The received wisdom for tentpole blockbusters had been to aim for a PG-13 rating, which would ensure the widest possible audience.

An R-rating – which requires under-17s to be accompanied by an adult – has long been seen as financially prohibitive. But the emphatically R-rated Deadpool has surprised everyone by earning half a billion dollars worldwide in less than two weeks, and subsequently thrown the superhero rulebook out of the super-window.

What the “Ultimate Edition” of DC’s big blockbuster bust-up will look like remains to be seen. But given the theatrical version has a running time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, the R-rated edition could be broaching the three-hour mark.

In any case, we’ll see what the PG-13 looks like on March 25, when Batman v Superman is released.