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Black Adam Initially Received An R Rating From The MPAA

After a long wait for both Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and fans of the DC Comics character, "Black Adam" arrives this Friday, October 21. The New York City premiere recently happened on October 12, and the critical response to the movie is rumored to be relatively positive thus far. The Rock has promised on multiple occasions since a Twitter post in 2020 that this will change "the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe," and it's certainly possible given the recent state of the DCEU. There's been a massive shake-up in everything DC coming out of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger (via TVLine), with cancellations galore and seemingly a shift in the vision of where the DCEU will be headed moving forward. 

"Black Adam" will seemingly follow The Rock's titular character after he has been awoken from imprisonment after 5,000 years. His actions get the attention of the Justice Society of America, which causes conflict along with the supposed main antagonist of Sabbac interfering as well (via IGN). As made apparent in the trailer as well, Black Adam is notoriously a sort-of anti-hero in DC Comics. At times, he is a formidable villain to Shazam, Superman, and The Justice League as a whole. However, on other occasions, he has been seen helping heroes.

Nevertheless, Black Adam believes in taking the extra step to kill his enemies, something that heroes like Batman are notably against. This violence will be portrayed in the film, and it even initially received an R-rating for doing so.

The Rock and Black Adam's producers had to work hard with the MPAA to get a PG-13 rating

During a recent conversation "Black Adam" producers Beau Flynn and Hiram Garcia had with Collider about everything to do with the film, they revealed that the Motion Picture Association originally gave "Black Adam" an R-rating. Flynn and Garcia explained that they really wanted to accurately reflect Black Adam's form of execution justice and that therefore required a lot of death on-screen. "We really wanted to make sure that we honored the character of Black Adam," they said. "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." However, this commitment required many conversations with the MPAA if they wanted to have an authentic portrayal and get a PG-13 rating instead.

"We knew it was going to be a collaborative process with the MPAA to finally get it to where we were able, to get that rating, but we were able to pull it off," Flynn and Garcia noted. Not to mention, The Rock had their backs and was willing to do whatever it took with the MPAA to get it right. Ultimately, it has seemed to work out, as "Black Adam" does have an official PG-13 rating. Nevertheless, Atom Smasher actor Noah Centineo has explained that "Black Adam" may have "the highest body count of any superhero film so far" (via Esquire).