Putting aside the monopoly and business side of things, Disney’s acquisition of Fox is genuinely exciting in the world of Geekery as it means that we’ll soon see the likes of X-Men and Fantastic Four in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where they belong. However, the acquisition also caused a big question mark to loom over the Deadpool franchise. In 2016, Deadpool took the world by storm. The Ryan Reynolds starrer was profane and ultraviolent in the most hilarious of ways, using its R-rating (18, here in Malaysia) to magnificent effect. Everyone behind the camera and in front captured the essence of Deadpool comic books wonderfully. The unique beast of a comic book film was a massive critical and financial success and birthed a sequel that was equally successful.
However, Deadpool heading to the Disney/Marvel Studios umbrella was a cause for concern. After all, would Disney actually produce an R-rated film or would the House of Mouse tone down the ‘Merc with the Mouth’? According to the co-writer of Deadpool, it’s the latter. In an interview with EW, while out doing promotion for Zombieland: Double Tap, Deadpool co-writer Paul Wernick, had this to say:
“We’re always in touch with Ryan… I think the party line and truth is we’re all still figuring it out. Marvel has promised to continue to let us play in the R-rated Deadpool universe, and the hope is that they will also let us veer into the MCU a little bit as well and play in that sandbox. Our feeling and Ryan’s feeling is that it’s got to be the right idea, it’s got to be great… I think once we collectively agree what idea that great idea is we’ll be off to the races. Ryan’s super-busy, we’ve got a lot of projects lined up, but we wake up thinking about Deadpool, and we go to sleep thinking about Deadpool.”
This seems to align with what Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said back in April: “When we were purchased, Bob [Iger] said to us, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. There’s no question that Deadpool is working, so why would we change it?”
But, it does slightly contradict what Deadpool 2 director David Leitch told Yahoo Movies in August: “It’s rated R so that’s not necessarily the [MCU] brand but he doesn’t necessarily need to be R and [Disney] don’t necessarily need to only make PG-13 movies. I think we’ll find a happy ground.”
Another interesting thing to note about Paul Wernick’s comment is that he and his co-writer Rhett Reese are hopeful that Marvel Studios would allow Deadpool to veer into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sandbox. But if Deadpool remains R-rated, how would this work? I guess, considering the fourth-wall-breaking nature of the character, it’s always possible that in an MCU crossover, Deadpool looks into the camera and says something along the lines of, “I got invited to play with the big boys, but was told to behave myself.”