Movies & TV / Columns

Does Deadpool Need to Be Rated R to Succeed? 

October 14, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson

Ratings. For some movies, the rating seems to be the predicate of its success or failure. A PG-13 rating for a violent character seems to drive fans to anger at the thought that they’ll be robbed of some gratuitous gore and/or cursing. 

On the flip side, an R rating gives a movie freedom to push the envelope, walking a line to find the right amount of gruesome action and titillating scenery. A movie like Deadpool seems to have found that balance, along with the financial rewards that come with it. 

The big question is over how Disney, a family driven brand, will let Deadpool be showcased moving forward. 

Thanks to some press tours for Zombieland: Double Tap, the screenwriting duo of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick took a little time to talk about the Deadpool movies, which they wrote both. Them, along with the passionate Ryan Reynolds, are credited with much of the movies success, finding the right amount of awareness to bring in hardcore fans along with general audiences. 

With the first two making lots of money, Deadpool 3 is a no-brainer. The Disney/Fox merger didn’t deter that but opened up plenty of questions on how the Merc with a Mouth will play within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
When asked about the movies future by Den of Geeks, they were straight forward. “We’re just waiting for the word from on high,” says Wernick. “There’s a lot to be sorted out, like how Deadpool fits into the Marvel Universe with the other characters and into the release schedule of the MCU. Then it’s, do the X-Men get in there at some point? Fantastic Four? There’s a lot to be sorted out and I think we’re all getting a much needed rest from Deadpool — Ryan and us and everybody.”

They also spoke to JoBlo on whether they were worried about keeping the films’ R-rated violence and humor in the mix. They answered, “I think the good news is, I think Marvel knows what they have in the property. There is a promise that we’re going to continue to explore Deadpool and its R-rated universe. And then the great news, the great wrinkle on top of that is that, you know, moving forward, the hope is that we get to jump into the MCU sandbox a little bit and play with some of their toys too and bring Deadpool into that world. So it’s a wonderful new adventure that we’re all looking forward to diving into.”

Pretty simple. Deadpool will keep the R rating. For now. I say that because I can see Disney saying all the rights things now but having some reservations later, once the screenplay comes back or once they start shooting the movies. Then we get delays, creative differences, and the movie is shelved. 

I covered something Deadpool related a few months ago and made the observation that I could see a solo Deadpool movie having more of an edge, with a soft R rating but when he interacts with the rest fo the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he’s a middle of the ground PG-13 type of guy. Time will tell. 

What do you think? Does Deadpool only work when he’ rated R?