Tim Miller says Deadpool doesn’t need an R-rating to work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have one.
Deadpool was one of the most successful Marvel Comics ventures for 20th Century Fox. The R-rating actually helped make him their most popular and profitable character as the movie broke a number of records and made history for R-rated films. It may not have been the first R-rated comic book movie, but it did prove that these movies could work – something we found out to an even greater extent when Logan came out and showed us all what we’d been missing from PG-13 Wolverine. And Deadpool 2 continued that success.
Marvel Studios Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige previously stated that Deadpool will continue to have the R-rating when the character debuts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That came as a relief to fans because they wanted Wade Wilson to continue to be the vulgar and violent anti-hero that made him such a beloved character. The worry was that a PG-13 rating would water him down – something that could result in a movie along the lines of the reviled X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
However, not everyone believes the Merc With a Mouth needs an R-rating to be successful. Among those people is director Tim Miller.
Tim Miller’s thoughts
Deadpool and Love, Death & Robots director Tim Miller told Inverse that he thinks Deadpool could still work on the big screen even without an R-rating. He referenced Ryan Reynolds’ performance as the key to its success, adding that “You can remove the R-rated parts out of it if you wanted and it would still be Deadpool if Ryan was doing it.”
As this writer thinks about it, Tim Miller is right. Deadpool is more than just the four letter words. His popularity came from the comic books – a place where he couldn’t use any of the words that would warrant a MAX comic book title. Wade’s jokes, caring personality, relatable insecurity issues and captivating fighting has made him the Merc With A Mouth that we all love. While a PG-13 rating isn’t necessary, to quote a phrase, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
It works for Deadpool, but…
Sure, we could use Once Upon a Deadpool as an example as to why an R rating isn’t necessary for Deadpool’s success. The problem is that this version of the movie takes more than it adds. The added scenes with Fred Savage are fun, but not enough to justify removing the four letters words and the gruesome gun, sword, and random violence that Wade is renowned for.
Moreover, it isn’t just Deadpool here. We also have to think about the other characters that may need the added edge to their personalities. Sure, Negasonic Teenage Warhead doesn’t need the cursing to be fun. After all, Brianna Hildebrand is more than capable of portraying the angry and cynical N.T.W. without cursing. Plus, the character’s powers aren’t overly violent so she wouldn’t suffer from any adjustments. And the same goes for Colossus.
Now, let’s take characters like Cable, Vanessa and Domino. These are characters that may suffer from a more mainstream approach. They are played by phenomenal performers – each of whom have been in great PG-13 movies. But their characters may require more than a PG-13 rating.
Cable needs to be able to spread his gun toting wings, curse at Deadpool, and shoot people in the head with his fancy future cannon. And part of Vanessa’s charm is her perverse sense of humor – one of the reasons she and Wade worked so well together.
Deadpool’s R rating is important
Long story short, the Deadpool franchise is perfect the way it is. Changing it in any way might alienate moviegoers. A drastic change in the character might be too much for them.
The Punisher, Jessica Jones, and Wolverine are three comic book characters who benefited a great deal from the R rating in their respective films and TV shows. Any kind of restrictions would have hurt these projects a great deal. Imagine Frank Castle without the intense fight scenes or Jessica Jones without the mature content. Though they didn’t make the projects the successes that they were, they certainly went a long way in bringing each of those characters to life. The same goes for the two Deadpool movies.
Deadpool may not need an R rating, but why stifle Wade Wilson if you don’t have to? No, Marvel Studios should see this as an opportunity to mark the beginning of a more adult lane of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Regardless of the rating, let’s just be grateful that Deadpool won’t have optic blasts and no mouth.
What do you think? Does it matter what rating Deadpool is in the MCU? Do you prefer the R rating? Let us know in the comments below.