After the Disney/Fox merger put Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool franchise firmly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe toybox, fans feared that “the Merc with a Mouth” might eventually find himself falling into a safer PG-13 follow-up. But as it stands, Deadpool 3 is still very much going to be an R-rated affair, as confirmed by Kevin Feige himself. Though were that situation ever to change, Deadpool director Tim Miller thinks that thanks to Reynolds’ handle on the character, Wade Wilson would still rock, even without the swears.
Speaking with Inverse on behalf of the latest season of Love, Death & Robots, Miller discussed his current post as the co-creator of the hit Netflix series. Eventually, the issue of whether or not Deadpool could survive without massive MCU style changes in tone came up, which is unsurprising considering his direction of that first movie helped kick the entire franchise off. And to the surprise of some, Tim Miller is optimistic that a PG-13 Deadpool 3 would work, as he states below:
I think Ryan Reynolds' take on the character and the way he embraces the particular kind of insanity — even if you said he's not gonna use four-letter words — would still be there. He still is that character. You can take the R-rated parts out of it if you wanted and it would still be Deadpool if Ryan was doing it.
The issue of a more family friendly future for Deadpool 3 is something that’s been reckoned with for some time. Even Deadpool 2 director David Leitch acknowledged the possibility that not only does Marvel not need to limit themselves to PG-13 films, but Deadpool doesn’t necessarily need to be R-rated. Of course, Tim Miller’s recent enthusiasm for a potentially PG-13 Deadpool 3 working out is bolstered by the fact that a prototype for such a concept already exists.
That would be the recut version of Deadpool 2, Once Upon A Deadpool, which changed the R-rated garden variety release into a special event that saw a PG-13 re-skin. Boasting a new framing device that paid tribute to The Princess Bride, the concept of a somewhat kinder and gentler Ryan Reynolds franchise has technically been put into practice. Though the results don’t exactly speak to the entire issue, as it basically felt like a TV edit with some new footage.
Any sort of R-rated action in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even in the case of Deadpool 3, feels like it’s on the border of life and death. While assurances have been made, if there’s a strong enough concept that exists on the page, a PG-13 reversal could be a possibility. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see whether or not the company line holds, or if Kevin Feige will be standing in a future Hall H event, playing “Careless Whisper” as he breaks any potential changes to the world.
The latest season of Love, Death & Robots is currently streaming on Netflix. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a PG-13 friendly adventure with Ryan Reynolds, Free Guy is going to be your best bet. But you’re going to have to wait a little longer than you might like, as that isn’t scheduled to be released into theaters until August 13th.