As superhero movies have clambered to the top of the box office mountain, their budgets have grown with them – to the point that spending north of $200 million on a film adapted from comic books is pretty common. Of course, another thing that all of the major superhero movies have in common is their MPAA rating, which invariably (for the blockbuster successes, at least) sticks to PG-13 or less.
One comic book character who has an unwillingness to stay family friendly is Deadpool, which is no doubt part of the reason why it took so long for Twentieth Century Fox to finally give the upcoming Deadpool movie a green light. The script was penned by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who were insistent on including R rated material but offered the compromise of writing something that could be made for around $50 million. The movie was eventually greenlit, but whether it will be PG-13 or R rated remains undetermined.
Fox isn’t throwing its whole weight behind Deadpool. The movie is getting released in February, traditionally one of the worst months for the box office, and in an interview with MTV star Ryan Reynolds confirmed that its budget will be considerably smaller than what comic book movie fans have come to expect. Joking that his superhero suit would be a flannel shirt, Reynolds said that the limited budget could actually be just what Deadpool needs.
“It’s been a long time, but it’s happened in the right way and that’s all that matters. We don’t have the kind of money that most superhero movies do, but that’s great, actually. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s why we get to make the movie we want to make… You gotta have faith in the people you’re working with, and have faith in the prep, and that’s all I’m doing. On this one, the prep’s been 11 years.”
Reynolds’ attachment to the character, whom he has already played once on the big screen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was no doubt a significant factor in Fox’s eventual decision to give the go-ahead for production. There was also an overwhelmingly positive fan response to a cheerfully violent bit of test footage that was leaked online last year, though Reynolds swears that he didn’t leak it himself.
“I would have Fox’s lawyers so far up my ass they could smell Wade Wilson’s feet. No, no, no I didn’t leak it. But I would have. Looking back now, in a heartbeat. I should go home and scan the old hard drive and see what I’ve got in there.”
Deadpool will begin filming in Vancouver this March, and is being directed by newcomer and VFX expert Tim Miller. It’s certainly true that with a smaller budget than films like X-Men: Days of Future Past there’s a greater likelihood of Miller and the screenwriters being able to cut loose and just have fun with the character – but just how badly will Wade Wilson be able to behave onscreen?
Deadpool arrives in theaters on February 12th, 2016.