When Disney acquired Fox earlier this year, there was pretty much unanimous excitement from comic book fans at the potential of what Marvel could actually do with some of its biggest characters finally being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The only comic book movie character that perhaps didn’t quite fit though is Deadpool. While Ryan Reynolds’ red-and-black anti-hero has proved to be as popular as ever and a big surprise success for Fox, the R-rated nature of the two released films is in deep contrast to all the MCU movies and Disney’s family-friendly nature and so there were concerns that Disney may try and mess with the formula that fans had started to love.
Fans concerns were eased though when Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that Deadpool movies can continue to release with an R-rating, but just won’t likely fall under the MCU umbrella and form part of that big universe of films. Seeing as how fans were excited for these ex-Fox characters to interact with the other Marvel properties, that wasn’t ideal but it was a valid compromise. The folks at Disney may be changing their minds though according to a new tweet from an industry insider, Variety’s Brent Lang. In response to a comment from Iger that Deadpool is now officially part of Marvel’s slate of characters, Lang claims that Disney might be thinking about keeping Deadpool R-rated for his solo movie and then making him PG-13 in other appearances:
While this has not been confirmed by Disney, if true it would represent a big about-turn for the studio, but one that could possibly make sense. It’s not like Disney doesn’t release R-rated movies, but they’ve usually done so through their smaller in-house labels and not a big mainstream entity like Marvel Studios. And clearly, the R-rated formula works amazingly for Deadpool – the two films’ box office numbers may get eclipsed by Marvel’s biggest hits, but they are the top two worldwide highest-grossing R-rated films in history. They are also the highest-earning X-Men films ever. Disney won’t want to throw that away.
But as shown with the hilarious “Once Upon a Deadpool” PG-13 re-release of Deadpool 2, the character can work in a more family-friendly environment if Disney were to lean into his Fourth Wall breaking absurdity (can you imagine how funny it would be if he knew he was in a PG-13 movie and thus only got one F-bomb?).
This idea of a PG-13 Deadpool may not go down with all fans of the first two movies who have loved the blown-out violence and vulgarity of the Deadpool character. However, it has found support from a rather surprising corner in Deadpool 2 director David Leitch who recently shared some thoughts on the idea with Yahoo! Movies:
It’s rated R so that’s not necessarily the [MCU] brand but he doesn’t necessarily need to be R and [Disney] don’t necessarily need to only make PG-13 movies. I think we’ll find a happy ground.
Leitch clearly believes that the reason people love Deadpool so much is not just his profanity and crude jokes, but his fun sense of humour, something which doesn’t need to be R-rated specifically. And if Disney and Marvel decide to go beyond the PG-13 rating every now and again with certain characters that lend themselves to it (like Blade), they may be able to deepen their usage of comic book characters down the line too.
Disney is keeping quiet on the subject, but hopefully in the coming months will finally be able to provide Deadpool fan with some plans of what and when they can expect to have the Merc With a Mouth finally returning to cinema screens around the world.
Do you think Deadpool needs to be R-rated to still be fun or are you happy to see him finally star in a movie that you can bring your kids to watch?