The rating comes as no surprise, as the film has been noted to contain 'gore' and 'graphic nudity.'
Director James Gunn's The Suicide Squad (2021), Gunn's first contribution to the DC Extended Universe, has been awarded an R-rating by the MPAA for “strong violence and gore, language throughout, some sexual references, drug use, and brief graphic nudity," Collider cites. Though this is Gunn's first R-rating for the DCEU, his debut feature Slither (2006) and comically bleak second film Super (2010) have been marked as R-rated. Gunn, who is commonly associated with his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, looks to expand throughout the superhero genre.
There was already the previous confirmation that The Suicide Squad was designed to be an R-rated feature, paired with a red band trailer that sampled the intense material that Gunn would indulge a revamped Suicide Squad with, including Sylvester Stallone's King Shark dismantling a human with his hands alone, and coarse language being exchanged.
This is not the DCEU's first R-rated movie influenced by comics, and the latest rendition of the infamous team follows in the footsteps of Joker (2019) and 2020's Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) also scored an R-rating prior to its release in theaters and on HBO Max.
Actor Joel Kinnaman, set to reprise his role as Colonel Rick Flag, originally debuted in David Ayer's Suicide Squad (2016), described Gunn's The Suicide Squad as a "heavily R-rated" comedy. "It was a real learning experience for me, too, because I'd never done a comedy in that way before," he said. "So I asked James to work with me and teach me this shit. And yeah, we had so much fun doing it. That movie is going to be a fucking monster. Honestly, even though I'm in it, I can't wait to see it as a fan."
The Suicide Squad releases dually in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.