Deadpool 2 came and went earlier this year, but we'll be visited by the Merc with the Mouth one last time before 2018 is over. It was announced at the end of September at that a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 will screen in theaters. For those wondering why this is happening, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick told CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg that they wanted the sequel to be accessible to a wider demographic, while also throwing in some new elements to entertain the older crowd who already watched Deadpool 2. As Reese put it:
There is that segment of the population who we've treated to a great disservice by not letting them see Deadpool, and we've sort of driven a wedge between parents and their tweener kids who aren't quite old enough to see it, and are bitter about it. And parents who were mad that Deadpool is of a certain rating, and that their kids whine all the time about it. So we're trying to serve that demographic, in particular. But we have introduced, without giving it away -- and you'll probably be able to see it on the Internet -- we've definitely introduced a new framing element to the story, and a new element to the story that will make it highly entertaining for adults to return, as well. That will probably appeal to them more than their children. Again, I'm not... we're not allowed to talk about it, but if you do a deep dive on the Internet, you may sniff it out.
Deadpool already stands out from other comic book protagonists thanks to his habit of breaking the fourth wall, but because 20th Century Fox was ok with the character's movies entering the R-rated realm (which the studio also later approved for Logan), that further helped Deadpool and Deadpool 2 distinguish themselves from other superhero movies, most of which are rated PG-13.
However, as Rhett Reese noted, embarking down that creative path also meant shutting out the younger fans who couldn't see these movies in theaters without being accompanied by an adult. So now this PG-13 Deadpool 2 provides an opportunity to let kids experience the fun, just without as much curse words, sexual innuendo and gore.
As for the framing element that Rhett Reese alluded to, he's talking about how the PG-13 Deadpool 2 will parody The Princess Bride, which Ryan Reynolds teased on social media hours before this cut of the movie was announced. The masked Wade Wilson will tell the toned-down Deadpool 2 story to an adult Fred Savage, calling back to when Peter Falk read to the adolescent Fred over 30 years ago.
Paul Wernick added during the interview with CinemaBlend that the PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 came together particularly quickly, to the point that the new footage didn't even exist a full two months ago. Wernick said:
It was always something we talked about. But we shot, what, about six weeks ago? So it didn't exist, you know? We weren't holding anything back at the time [of the junket]. [The PG-13 cut] just didn't exist. Us, and Ryan, and the studio all came together and we were like, 'Gosh, you know, we really feel like there's a wonderful opportunity here, and we have a great idea for it.' So the studio kind of said, 'Let's do it.'
I can't help but wonder if this PG-13 Deadpool 2 is also testing the waters for the looming Disney Fox deal. Once that is finalized and in effect, the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties can be absorbed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and perhaps the franchise will want to take a more family-friendly approach with Deadpool. Last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger said there might be an opportunity to create an R-rated brand for characters like Deadpool, but it's also easy enough to imagine the Merc with the Mouth's stories being adjusted to better fit in with the rest of the MCU.
The PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 hits theaters on December 21, although it's unclear how long it will be shown on the silver screen. If you'd rather watch the original R-rated version, it's available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. And as for what else is coming out before the year is over, check out our 2018 release schedule for that information.