Reeves' DC debut in last year's The Batman toed the line of an R-rating, but still put forth a more mature comic book adventure than what fans have come to expect from the genre, while ultimately avoiding the mature rating.
Matt Reeves' Batman canon is only just beginning to expand, with projects like Penguin and the upcoming The Batman sequel on the horizon.
And with this expansion, the director could begin to explore that mature narrative milieu even further, leaning into this brutal and dark take on Gotham and the world of the Caped Crusader.
An R-Rated Batman Spin-Off
As HBO Max's The Penguin continues to film in New York City, new footage from the set may have teased television's R-rating equivalent of TV-MA for the streaming series.
The first video (from Twitter user The Art of The Batman) showed the team filming a scene with Colin Farrell's Oz Cobblepot (aka The Penguin) cursing as he walks the streets of Gotham City, saying "None of those f***s had the balls to do what I did..."
The use of this curse word seems to imply a TV-MA rating as it is seldom used under TV-14 or any other ratings below that.
@omegamauro1 replied to this initial post with another video, showcasing Farrell's crime boss pulling up to a curb on a rainy day in Gotham.
This on-set footage comes mere days after it was revealed The Batman spin-off had begun filming in New York with a first look at Colin Farrell's villain. Farrell is joined this time around by How I Met Your Mother and Palm Springs alum Kristen Milioti.
Could The Batman 2 Be Rated-R?
It is very possible that The Penguin will also dance that R-rating as The Batman did a year ago. Every PG-13 project is allowed one "F***" and this scene could very well be the series' one use of the f-word. However, that seems rather unlikely.
When an f-bomb is used in PG-13 titles it is usually a major moment, something very intentionally placed by the writers and director. Oz cursing on the street like this feels like it will be one instance of many sprinkled throughout the series.
So, it is looking more and more likely that The Penguin will be rated R (TV-MA). But what does this mean for The Batman Part II?
The upcoming Elseworlds sequel could very well make the same move into the more mature territory seen in its HBO Max spin-off.
With James Gunn's new DCU plan featuring a Batman project in The Brave and the Bold, one could make the case for the new DC Studios co-CEO giving Matt Reeves the greenlight on an R-rating for Part II.
Seeing as Gunn's Bat-Family-focused blockbuster is on the calendar and will likely end up being PG-13, Reeves' Bat-verse does not necessarily have to hit with mass audiences the way it would if there was only one Batman film on the docket.
There can be different Caped Crusading adventures for different niches, with Brave and the Bold telling a more mass appeal PG-13 story, and the rest of Matt Reeves' "crime saga" leaning into a mature R-rating.
The Penguin has no official release date but is expected sometime in 2024.