The task of getting the much-discussed solo project for Marvel’s "Merc with a Mouth," Deadpool, off the ground has been long and arduous. However, its potential star, Ryan Reynolds hopes that there will be a gory, vulgar language-infused, possibly nudity-laced pot of gold at the end of this long developmental rainbow: Namely an R rating from the MPAA. Will the upcoming Deadpool film finally be the R rated comic book movie that breaks through the recalcitrance of PG-13-wishing studio bigwigs?
Sitting down with Collider, Reynolds fielded the topic of all topics when it comes to potential future roles. (No, not a Green Lantern sequel.) Certainly, one of the more heated aspects of the Deadpool project has been the idea that an R rating would be necessary to convey the violent, sociopathic persona that the Deadpool character carries in the pages of Marvel comics. According to Reynolds, the rating for the film is still a mystery, but he clearly has his preference for how things pan out for a potential R rating.
I have no idea … I don’t want to spoil anything so we’ll see. We hope.
The ratings quandary has always been a problematic aspects of the more violent comic book movies. The studios (often justifiably) prefer the accessibility of a PG-13 film and the low numbers that many R-rated films yielded (Punisher: War Zone, anyone?) is certainly powerful evidence that comic book films, especially of the costumed superhero variety (which Deadpool definitely is) are better served not alienating the ticket-boosting power of the under 17 crowd.
However, Deadpool is certainly a unique case where his existence in the lore of the X-Men/X-Force comics categorizes him as belonging amongst that group’s PG-13 brand of films. Yet, for all his visibility in those comic book titles, his own solo work has demonstrated that the character exists in a bleak, gritty world rooted in a more mature mindset -- not to mention the gratuitously gory violence. What the decision may come down to is whether the studio decides the essence of Deadpool lies with his status as an "X-Title" character, or in the blood and guts. That is something that could be debated in perpetuity.
As last year’s "leaked" test footage with Reynolds’ Deadpool demonstrated, the character is certainly at home with goring and cursing. It made a seemingly powerful case for the pro-R rated camp and really drove home the over-the-top, fourth-wall breaking barriers that a Deadpool movie can bring. Are those things intrinsically rooted in his ability to say the f-word and have puppet shows with decapitated heads? Maybe.
Yet, 20th Century Fox has actually already has given us some pretty intense PG-13 Deadpool action already in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Reynolds’ ass-kicking and wise-cracking generally stood out as a high point in the heavily panned prequel in which he played Wade Wilson, the man who would eventually undergo experiments making him essentially immortal, but horribly scarred in the face as Deadpool. IF the studio thinks it can pull off Deadpool in PG-13, even based on that reception, then they likely will try.
It’s been almost 6 years since that performance in Origins and thankfully, the wheels have apparently begun to spin on the solo project with shooting reportedly set just a mere four weeks from now. Director, Tim Miller steps behind the camera and we will finally get a Deadpool movie. (Whether or not it’s the one fans want remains to be seen.) According to Reynolds, his current duties when it comes to Deadpool are merely "Tests. Lots and lots of tests." Slyly divulging nothing further.
Deadpool will look to troll his enemies before he brutally butchers them when it is penciled in to hit theaters on February 12, 2016.