Why The Deadpool Movie Could Be Rated R After All

Roughly five minutes after Deadpool fans learned that their beloved Merc With a Mouth would receive his own standalone movie (after YEARS of waiting), they also found something to complain about. The rumors started to swirl that the movie only was greenlit if the creative team behind the Deadpool film could deliver a PG-13 cut. Fans didn’t want to accept that, however, and the groundswell of negativity brewed higher and hotter.

Here’s the funny part, though. No one could confirm that Deadpool had to be PG-13, and not R. In fact, Deadpool’s creator, Robert Liefeld, Tweeted his own thoughts on the matter, and also retweeted Rhett Reese, who penned the draft of the Deadpool movie that we believe Fox is using to get Wade Wilson in the cinematic pipeline:

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Because the matter of a Deadpool movie rating seemed very important to fans, we went right to the source. In our exclusive interview with Rob Liefeld, I asked him if the movie – as far as he knows – will be PG-13, and if the rating concerned him. Liefeld told me:

I'm a firm and practical believer that the studio will make the call on the rating after the film is completed. No one can tell you what the rating on a film will be until after it's submitted to the ratings board, and haven't they been all over the place lately. The Expendables 3 felt like an R-rated film to me. Then, when I left and looked at my ticket stub, it was a PG-13 movie. Prometheus was an R-rated film. Why, exactly?Fox will make the determination as to what they are shooting for, and everyone else will comply. I grew up with blockbuster R-rated films, so that's always my preference. But I'm also as painful a realist as possible, and there are less and less R-rated action films each year. Bottom line, the studio makes that call. Anyone who thinks that directors and writers control ratings are completely misplacing that responsibility."

In other words, it’s far too early to tell what rating Deadpool is going to receive. And Liefeld’s correct in saying that the MPAA let’s FAR MORE questionable material skate through to theaters these days then they might have a few years back. A PG-13 rating on a Deadpool movie shouldn’t change expectations, nor should an R-rating guarantee instant success. As Liefeld puts it:

As for what to expect [from the upcoming movie], I refer to the action and humor in the Deadpool leaked footage. [It is] a perfect combination of tone and action choreography, and that's just scratching the surface. You haven't seen nothin' yet!"

So, the Deadpool train keeps running at full steam, and the ratings "controversy" is an empty argument at the moment. Deadpool will be in theaters on February 12, 2016. We’ll know what it's rated by then.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.