While most recent superhero films have maintained a largely family-friendly tone, often featuring less violent imagery than the current iterations of the comic books they’re based on, Fox’s eagerly awaited X-Men spinoff Deadpool is not one of them. The Ryan Reynolds-starring action-comedy has been touting its R-rated nature as one of its key selling points since it was first announced, a strategy which has thus far led to a mother’s petition for a PG-13 secondary-release and the film being banned in China.
But according to co-star T.J. Miller, the film was even more “raw” in its original version, which will be released to home video later this year.
Speaking to fans at a London special event to promote the film, Miller offered:
“But yeah, so the idea that when you see the fall director’s cut of it, that that’s going to be even more raw, that’s pretty heavy duty.”
Deadpool’s comic appearances have frequently been defined by boundary-pushing violence and crude lowbrow humor, both of which the film has thus far promised to replicate as much as possible. No details have emerged as to what, if anything, would have had to be removed in order to meet the fluctuating standards of a R-rating; though often the difference can be as much as cutting entire scenes to removing a few seconds of footage or lessening the “volume” of actual blood spilled onscreen. In the U.S., film ratings are established by the Motion Picture Association of America, which evaluates films on a case-by-case basis for content before issuing their decisions. While the MPAA is not a government-backed institution and has no federal power to “ban” films or enforce specific instances of censorship, most U.S. theater chains have standing policies against carrying films that have not been certified with an MPAA rating.
While studios have largely avoided making R-rated superhero movies, they have been fairly popular in the past via franchises like Blade and The Crow in the 90s. While Deadpool is likely to mine success from this approach with its combination of a unique premise and a popular lead character (plus a lower than average budget, making profits more tangible), there’s no telling whether or not the film could start a “trend” of more violent or sexually-explicit entries in the genre. The new global focus of Hollywood blockbusters means that films must increasingly rely on ticket sales in international territories, including countries with significantly stricter laws about movie content up to and including outright censorship; and while a film like Deadpool can likely afford to be banned from the lucrative Chinese market, the same cannot be said for expensive ventures like The Avengers or the mainstream X-Men films — especially when even Star Wars is feeling pressure to compete in such territories.
There’s also the question of how to handle ratings differences in the era of shared universe films: While Fox has been upfront about this Deadpool not being related to the version from the (now deleted) continuity of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, well-known X-Men hero Colossus appears in the film in a supporting role. Also on hand is a new female heroine named Negasonic Teenage Warhead, who has been seen in promotional images wearing the yellow and blue uniform of the New Mutants — who are currently being considered for a spinoff series of their own. It remains to be seen whether audiences will embrace a shared-universe where certain installments can be viewed only by adults (or, potentially, multiple children standing on each other’s shoulders in a conspicuously long overcoat.)
We’ll find out when Deadpool shoots and slices into theaters February 12, 2016.
Deadpool opens in theaters on February 12, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and an untitled X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also currently in development.
Source: Cinema Blend