Obviously, everyone knows Deadpool 3 is going to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s first R-rated installment, but Kevin Feige did go to great lengths to underscore that Ryan Reynolds’ long-awaited return as the Merc with a Mouth is going to be the franchise’s sole project geared towards older audiences for the foreseeable future.
The main reason why Marvel Studios hasn’t shown much interest in tackling blood, guts, gore, and increased levels of violence is exceedingly simple; the movies won’t make anywhere near as much money if a huge section of the target demographic is excluded from catching the MCU’s latest explosive blockbuster on the big screen, where repeat business is almost always booming.
There’s already been concern about the Disneyfication of Daredevil, with the Mouse House’s streaming service almost certainly set to tone down the often-brutal escapades that defined Charlie Cox’s Netflix run, which has in turn opened the doors to a sweeping online debate about whether or not the comic book behemoth can keep it up forever.
As you’d imagine, the initial hot take is being roasted by plenty of MCU enthusiasts, even if there is some support for the long-running multiversal story to begin broadening and expanding its horizons. It can’t be argued that were Jon Bernthal to hypothetically return as the Punisher, a PG-13 outing for the vigilante would defeat the entire purpose from the off.
Deadpool 3 is still a long way away, so it could be a long time before the saga even considers another detour into R-rated territory, which in all likelihood could turn out to be Deadpool 4 anyway.