So apparently the literal end of days is coming ever closer to us because Deadpool 2 is being re-released this December with (gasp!) a PG-13 rating.
Once Upon a Deadpool will be released on December 12th of this year and will also be adorned with the dreaded PG-13 rating. The reality is, is that this is no simple cash grab for 20th Century Fox. Once Upon a Deadpool will do a couple of admittedly cool things, like donating one dollar for every ticket sold to Fuck Cancer, a nonprofit organization that works towards raising awareness about early cancer detection and prevention. Secondly, Fred Savage, yes that Fred Savage, has been cast to apparently play himself as he and Deadpool recreate his scenes from The Princess Bride which will act as bookends for them film.
This is all well and good, but it got me thinking, is this all an elaborate ploy to see how a hypothetical Deadpool 3 could perform if it had a PG-13 rating?
Probably not, but if this were the case, what should happen? What kind of humor, references or limits could we see? I’m glad you asked.
Just because the rating changes, doesn’t mean Deadpool changes.
The rating of a film is no indication of the quality of that film. So with that in mind I think that the single most important aspect of Deadpool that a potential third film in a franchise needs to nail is the fact that Deadpool has become something of a meme in the last decade or so. He’s as popular as he is because of the fact that he is aware that he is part of a fictional medium. Be it a comic, film, or video game, Deadpool knows who he is and he never changes. He doesn’t even really adapt to his surroundings, he merely takes over them to the extent that he can.
Exhibit A…by the way, I don’t own this.
Whatever you may think about Ryan Reynolds, he’s smart enough to figure out how to maneuver through the “restraints” of a PG-13. He’s funny enough to not over rely on crude humor and he probably knows that saying the word “fuck” does not make a joke funny. It certainly helps, but consider this; you can only use the F-word(!) once with a PG-13 rating, so maybe he save it throughout the entire film and right when something amazing happens, or he does something all Deadpool-y, he winds up and…someone else says it.
And if blood and gore is your thing, you’re not going to get your fix by watching a Marvel movie of any kind, no matter what studio owns him. As a PG-13 rating does kind of hinder your use of violence, it puts the kaibosh on excessive gore. But again, this can be a plot hole. One thing about Deadpool is the fact that he’s so reckless, thanks to a mutant healing factor, that he goes out of his way to put himself in harm’s way. Now imagine that he’s realized that he no longer bleeds…he’ll think he’s a frickin’ god.
Deadpool 3 should be the first Fox/MCU crossover.
Considering that Disney has recently acquired assets from Fox, people have been coming at you all with “news” about how this hero or that hero is going to appear in Avengers 4. They won’t and it’s because the deal between Disney and Fox isn’t quite done yet. Which means an actual MCU/Fox crossover is still years away. Best (hypothetical) case scenario, we see Deadpool 3 from Disney by 2022 at the earliest. If ever.
But if all the stars were to align and we got Deadpool sucked into a wormhole and crapped out on what would’ve been Avengers 5, this is where his character would really shine. You could see Deadpool only refer to Captain America as the Human Torch, calling Hulk Edward Norton or asking why Black Widow looks so familiar. Plus, you know Reynolds would have a field day asking why Spider-Man is so special that he got a hall pass from Sony to play with Iron Man.
Seeing Deadpool out of his element in a PG-13 film, a film full of colorful characters that play by the “rules” would be amazing. It would be two hours of the Avengers playing babysitter to the worst, most immature “superhero” ever invented, and I for think that sounds like a Deadpool movie I am actually excited for.
Limitations are essential for good storytelling.
I never liked that Spider-man was on loan to Marvel Studios because, not only does it inflate the cast of character and potential for D-list villains that no one actually likes showing up, but it also hinders your story telling. When Spider-Man showed up in Civil War, at first I was kind of disappointed. Yeah, I knew that Cap 3 wasn’t going to be a direct retelling of the Civil War story line from the comics, but I was wondering if Cap was going to have a player for his team switch sides like in the comic. What if Black Panther switched sides during the airport fight scene in Cap 3? What if seeing the potential evil of Iron Man and the Sokovia Accords actually outweighed his hatred for Bucky Barnes? That is a great story of a future king potentially putting his entire nature at risk to do what’s right. It’s at least more interesting than watching a kid stammer and trip his way through a glorified cameo advertising his upcoming movie.
I could see a PG-13 Deadpool film being somewhat of a shot in the arm the series may need for its third entry in the series. Perhaps Deadpool finding out that he can’t express himself the way he usually does is something of an existential crisis for him. Maybe he starts to question, not just his motives, but his place in the newly established MCU multiverse.
Sure, you could have him forget his lesson by the end of the film and have him revert back to a walking dick and fart joke. But for those two hours leading up to the credits, you can see him have an arc that not even the comics will do, you can see him bend to convention and really comment on what the comic book film really is, a way to make huge stacks of money. Have him comment on the absurdity of RDJ’s paycheck, or how toy deals are done before the film is shot, make Deadpool great by having him break the comic book genre and worry less about gross out humor. Plus make him throw TJ Miller under the bus for being an asshole.
At the end of the day, let the film you’re seeing speak for itself and take the ratings with a grain of salt.
If you’re at all interested in donating or finding out about Fuck Cancer, click here.