While on a promotional tour for his latest directorial outing, David Leitch, director of Deadpool 2 stated that the future of the Deadpool franchise does not need to be Rated R.
Leitch spoke with Yahoo! about the future of the franchise, where he offered this bit of information about any upcoming Deadpool film:
“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.”
He would add:
“There’s a lot of mystery still surrounding what they want to do with Deadpool in [Disney’s] Marvel world but I think, from discussions that I’ve heard, it’s all positive. I think that they’re just trying to figure a way in as Deadpool’s hard.”
In fact, Leitch would indicate to Yahoo! that he hopes to return to the franchise and direct possible sequels. He also indicated he thinks a crossover between Deadpool and the newly announced Blade film starring Mahershala Ali would be “very cool” citing they “both are swordsmen.” (Related: Ryan Reynolds Teases Deadpool for Marvel Phase 5!)
Deadpool in A PG-13 World of Disney
While Deadpool 2 was R-rated, Fox would release a PG-13 version of the film with a new title, Once Upon A Deadpool.
As Forbes’ Scott Mendelson reports, Once Upon a Deadpool “removes 99% of the blood, most of the “f-words” and a few sequences that would likely be edited for content and time when the film plays on basic cable.” (Related: The Top 12 Cameos from Deadpool 2)
Fox proved that they could release a PG-13 version of Deadpool if they wanted. However, the film was not well received by both audience members and critics. It received a 51% on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, the critic score, and a 51% on the Audience Score.
But what might be more important is the fact that this PG-13 version of Deadpool released in China. Mendelson notes “the core audience is arguably China, where Deadpool and Deadpool 2 did not play.”
And China is a huge moneymaker for Disney and Marvel Studios. According to The Numbers, Avengers: Endgame brought in $629.1 million in China. The film brought in $857.6 million at the domestic box office according to Box Office Mojo.
Disney’s future plans appear to include China’s box office takes and they aren’t going to want to say goodbye to that simply to have Deadpool get an R-Rating. (Related: X-Men Producer Weighs in on the Possibility of a Deadpool/Wolverine Movie)
There is a caveat to all of this. Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated back in 2017 on an investor’s call that Disney could create a Marvel R-rated brand.
“It [Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
He would echo those sentiments this past February, “We will continue in that business. There’s certainly popularity with those types of films.” He added that Disney will have to carefully brand the films “so we’re not in any way confusing the consumer.”
It definitely appears that whether or not Deadpool remains an R-rated franchise is still up in the air.
Do you want to see Deadpool remain R-rated? Do you think the franchise could succeed with a PG-13 rating? Sound off in the comments below or let’s talk about it on social media!