It is a legitimate concern, for some. With the news breaking that Walt Disney is acquiring 21st Century Fox's film studios (and its vast library), valuable properties like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Deadpool are now packing up and heading across town to the Mouse House. But will Mickey and friends let Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) be himself -- in all of the filthy and foul-mouthed glory that fans have come to expect? It's a big enough topic that Disney CEO Bob Iger felt he had to address it in a conference call with investors, explaining:
[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what's coming, we think we can manage that fine.
This is a welcome -- albeit not that surprising -- answer from Disney CEO Bob Iger as he addressed shareholders, via The Hollywood Reporter. Fox managed to see unprecedented success by allowing not just Deadpool but also Wolverine to embrace R-rated materials in their standalone movies, and the two films proved that there's a rabid audience for mature content in the superhero genre. There'd be no reason for Disney to water down the impact of these stories by forcing Deadpool to now play in a PG-13 sandbox just to reach a wider audience. He reached a wide-enough audience with his R-rated banter. Why mess with success?
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds already is having a lot of fun on social media with the news that Disney now owns the rights to the character. Apparently the Merc put his mouth to a different use in a Disney theme park, and paid a steep price:
This has been a concern of Ryan Reynolds over time, though. News of the Disney-Fox deal has been swirling for weeks, and in November, Reynolds spoke out to his Twitter followers and asked:
If this is true, I wonder how the fudge it would affect Deadpool?
Way to pre-emptively clean up your language, Mr. Reynolds. The good news is, moving forward, you won't have to do that any longer! Disney will let Deadpool remain R-rated. And we are assuming this holds true for the planned Deadpool/X-Force movies moving forward that will make use of Cable (Josh Brolin), Domino (Zazie Beetz) and a host of other X-Men characters. We know that Drew Goddard is on board to direct that superhero ensemble pic. But how the development of that story might change in light of this business deal remains to be seen.