The man behind everyone’s favorite Merc with a Mouth is anxious about a Disney-helmed Deadpool movie, and for good reason.
Deadpool is a notoriously gristly and amoral character. He curses, makes dick jokes, and — you know — murders people with abandon. He’s also hilarious and surprisingly relatable — not in a murdery way — and has collected hordes of new fans since the first live-action adaptation of his comic book exploits hit theaters in 2016.
Deadpool was an instant hit when it was released, introducing heaps of brand new fans to the Regenerating Degenerate. The rights to the character were also owned by Fox when the first two installments hit theaters, before shifting into Disney’s hands in 2019. When Disney acquired Fox, it also gained access to a number of lucrative Marvel properties, including Deadpool, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.
Most of Disney’s new franchises are expected to get a fresh coat of paint under their new ownership. A reboot of the Deadpool film franchise would be a massive mistake, however, given the immense popularity of the first two films. There’s also the utterly perfect casting of Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, a fit that simply can’t be beat. Recasting this role would have the potential to ruin the big-screen version of the character. It would also devastate fans, who’ve come to know and love Reynolds in a role he seems born to play.
Deadpool 3 has already been in development for over two years, though, a fact that can ease fans’ minds somewhat. That’s not quite enough to lift a weight off the mind of creator Rob Liefeld, however. The man behind Wade Wilson has concerns that a proper Deadpool release simply won’t work under the Disney umbrella, particularly given the necessity for these films to carry a strictly adult rating.
You can’t make a proper Deadpool film without attaching an R-rating. You wouldn’t be doing the character justice if you tried, but as Disney has proved through releases like The Book of Boba Fett, it hesitates to reach too far out of its typical wheelhouse.
While plenty of fans have thoroughly enjoyed The Mandalorian‘s first spinoff, the show was far more vanilla than many fans expected from one of the most feared bounty hunters in the galaxy. The Disney treatment is obvious when it comes to titles like these, and has the potential to butcher a Deadpool release.
If he were to get his way, Liefeld would see Disney pursue a “mature” branch of its brand. He doesn’t have a lot of faith in this possibility, however, and so is simply hoping that Disney will “get out of Ryan Reynolds’ way.”
“The thing about Disney and Deadpool, look, my thing is, just get out of Ryan Reynolds’ way,” Liefeld said, while appearing on the Big Thing Podcast. “His imprimatur is so felt on both films, he lives those films, he’s at those fan screenings, he’s in the editing room, he’s giving copious notes.”
Reynolds’ passion for the character, and focus on bringing an honest version of him to the big screen, is a key part of both films’ success. Wade isn’t an easy character to adapt, and he has absolutely no place in any PG creation. Sure, a quick cameo could be amusing and fun, but anything major — like a full blown film or television series — had best have an R rating attached.
It is conceivable that the bigwigs at Disney have already had this discussion, and are working toward plans to launch a less child-friendly set of properties. There are plenty of potential characters and franchises that would fit into this, including the upcoming Moon Knight series, and any future Deadpool-related projects.
If Disney isn’t willing to allow the character to shine in his own right — inappropriate jokes and all — it would be better to simply retire him, rather than butcher the character via a watered-down release.