When Disney+ released its monthly YouTube video updating subscribers on what films and shows they could look forward to watching in April, it included a rather surprising title: Kiss of the Dragon. This Jet Li action thriller is one of the films Disney acquired when it bought the 20th Century Fox library from 2001. It’s not a particularly remarkable movie, but its addition to Disney+ would have been quite notable — because Kiss of the Dragon is rated R for “for strong violence, language, some sexuality and drug content.”
While Disney+ has added some edgier material in recent months, including The Defenders television series that Marvel originally produced for an adult audience on Netflix, and they’ve recently made users update their parental control settings specifically to ensure younger audiences don’t get their eyeballs on these sorts of shows, it still doesn’t offer a single R-rated movie. If that monthly listing video had been correct, Kiss of the Dragon would have been the first R-rated movie in Disney+ history.
While several sites like What’s On Disney+ hyped the arrival of the first R-rated Disney+ movie, Disney later reached out to explain that the film’s listing had been a mistake; Kiss of the Dragon is joining Disney+ on April 29 — but only in Canada, not the United States. While the American version of Disney+ has restrictions on R-rated material, many international versions of the service do offer adult-oriented films and shows.
In America, Disney’s more adult content lives on Hulu, a totally separate site (one that is, quite importantly, not branded to Disney and its image of wholesome entertainment for the whole family). The more Disney+ does add shows like The Defenders and Daredevil — and then add fairly harrowing violence and action to shows like Moon Knight — the more I wonder whether Disney+ is drifting towards a broader array of content, and what that means for Hulu when that happens.
You can see what’s actually coming to Disney+ in April below.
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