Disney Reportedly Thinking Of Making Deadpool 3 PG-13 Due To Birds Of Prey Flop


With Ryan Reynolds’ announcement that Deadpool 3 is currently in active development at Marvel Studios, fans of the Merc With a Mouth are wondering whether the project will continue in the R-rated tradition of its predecessors, or if Walt Disney Studios will impose a PG-13 rating on the property in keeping with the standard established by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Deadpool diehards will insist that Wade Wilson only works on screen when he’s free to engage in his characteristic violence and vulgarity, and they would seem to have a point given that franchises which have transitioned from R-rated entries to PG-13 entries – the Expendables and Terminator series spring readily to mind – more often than not suffer for it.

Now, however, we’re hearing from our sources – the same ones who said Deadpool 3 was in development months before Reynolds confirmed it, and that Transformers is being rebooted, which we now know to be true – that Disney is in fact considering scaling back the rating on Wade Wilson’s third outing, as well as making other sweeping changes to the franchise, in response to Birds of Prey‘s disappointing box office performance. That decision seems unnecessarily reactionary, though, given that the R-rated Deadpool and its sequel performed so well, as did Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine in Logan and last year’s billion-dollar Academy Award-winning Joker. Still, we’re told that despite the Mouse House’s assurances in the past, the R-rating has always been in question and now, after the aforementioned flop of the DCEU’s latest effort, studio execs are even more hesitant about it.

It’s still unclear what will happen at this stage, but it should be noted that Disney has actually released more than five dozen R-rated films, including Dangerous Minds, Tombstone, Pretty Woman, Dead Presidents, Con Air, G.I. Jane and The Fifth Estate. Ideally, the studio would produce an R-rated third installment of the Deadpool series under the newly rechristened 21st Century Studios banner, just as they’ve released their five Star Wars movies under the Lucasfilm banner. But if there’s a franchise that could successfully negotiate a shift from R to PG-13, it’s the Deadpool series, whose intrinsic humor and meta-narrative would allow the character to address the issue directly for comical effect.

Each time Wilson attempts to swear, for instance, a background noise might conveniently drown him out, which he notices while no one else does; each time he’s about to use graphic violence, the camera might overtly pan off, prompting him to break the fourth wall and ask why we keep looking away. Ultimately, he’d realize that his film is PG-13, perhaps even believing that the shift was an accidental result of the Once Upon a Deadpool cut of Deadpool 2.

Of course, a PG-13 movie is allowed precisely one use of the word “f*ck,” and so Wilson would naturally begin to anticipate the moment that his vulgarity doesn’t get censored. Perhaps the entire film unfolds without it ever happening, and in a post-credit scene, he rants about how he had his one moment stolen. And as unlikely as it might be, it would be hysterically ironic if his rant ended with him delivering the uncensored declaration: “You know what? F*ck Disney.”

Then, realizing that he finally got to swear, he would smile joyously at the camera as we cut to black.