For years, the major studios believed that R-rated comic book movies were a waste of time, and that there was no point in alienating a huge majority of their audience for the sake of a few curse words and some increased violence, especially when it could see them potentially lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars. For a while it looked like they were right, and the idea that viewers weren’t interested in more mature superhero stories was firmly backed up by the box office numbers.
However, once Deadpool appeared four years ago and sliced and diced its way to over $780 million worldwide, the floodgates opened a little bit. Five of the six highest-grossing R-rated movies in history have been released since 2016 alone, and four of them are comic book adaptations. Of course, both Deadpool and Deadpool 2 became the biggest R-rated hits ever, before Joker arrived last year and stole the crown after raking in over a billion dollars globally.
The DCEU’s Birds of Prey may have underwhelmed, but that looks to have been a minor blip on an otherwise impressive recent track record. Now that Deadpool 3 is happening under the Marvel Studios umbrella, though, there’s been concern that Kevin Feige would be reluctant to slap an R-rating onto one of his projects, but tipster Mikey Sutton is claiming this week that the architect of the MCU is actually planning a whole host of adult-orientated adaptations, including the aforementioned threequel.
According to the insider, Disney and Marvel will release their R-rated superhero movies under the rebranded 20th Century Studios to differentiate them from those put out by the staunchly family-friendly Marvel Studios banner, which certainly makes sense. After all, Deadpool 3 and Blade are much better suited to an R-rating anyway, and heading in this direction would allow the MCU to branch out and take more creative risks without offending their built-in younger fanbase or risk facing the wrath of furious parents.