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Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick made this assertion during their appearance on the Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith, revealing that their first draft for Deadpool was actually PG-13, as ordered by the studio. Rather than being completely different from the released version, the pair declared that it wasn't that difficult to make Deadpool more audience friendly. Reese said:
Interestingly, it wasn’t as hard as you’d think. You take some of the swear words, you take out some of the sex, the violence is all in how it’s shot, so it wasn’t as soul crushing as you’d think. But it lost its teeth a little bit.
It’s easy to say this now after the monumental success of Deadpool since it was released just over a week ago, but it’s highly unlikely that a PG-13 adaptation would have thrived at the box office or received the same critical acclaim.
Deadpool was able to chime and connect with an audience partly because it feels like an outsider. Much in the same spirit of Guardians Of The Galaxy, but with a more beta and biting humor, Deadpool’s R-rated jokes, riotous tone, and even its measly budget all gave it a different appeal than many of its comic book rivals.
Something that’s plainly obvious now that Deadpool has gone on to gross $491.9 million at the box office already, and it’s even been predicted that the superhero adaptation could ultimately go on to become the highest grossing R-rated film domestically and worldwide.
In order to reach this achievement, Deadpool will have to beat The Passion Of The Christ’s domestic total of $370 million, and then The Matrix Reloaded’s $742 million global gross. All of which, considering its stunning box office haul so far, seems within the realm of possibility.
That’s not too bad for a film that 20th Century Fox never really seemed too comfortable with green-lighting, and even once they did only gave it a budget of around $58 million.