Ahead of the film’s theatrical release on Valentine’s Day 2016, fans of the original Marvel Comics original character Wade Wilson, also known as the infamous Merc with a Mouth, have been awaiting the release of director Tim Miller’s R-rated Deadpool feature film with eager anticipation. Starring Ryan Reynolds in a return to the role after his less than accurate take on the character in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Miller, Reynolds, and screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese appear prepared for a rollicking action film with plenty of violence and bad language to spare.
However, not everyone has been quiet so eager to see a superhero movie not entirely suitable for younger audience members. The latest word from China has it that the film may be in even more trouble in terms of distribution over seas.
According to THR, the Chinese censorship authorities have deemed Miller’s Deadpool movie far too violent, sexually promiscuous, and verbally vulgar to be shown to the general public in their country. Following a decision made by the nation’s media regulator, namely the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television, and after working with Hollywood representative in an effort to establish a PG-13 cut of the film for international audiences, the film has been banned entirely in at least one foreign territory.
It’s surprising to hear that a film based on a Marvel property won’t see distribution in the world’s second-largest theatrical market. And considering the fact that past comic book features such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man have all performed exceptionally well in China, it is odd that Miller’s new film has been turned down by an audience of moviegoers otherwise eager to watch super-heroics enacted by people sporting multi-colored spandex outfits.
Granted, Deadpool is the first studio superhero film in recent memory to court bad behavior and anti-heroics unambiguously, and as such it might not be entirely surprising that some might wish to censor its more adult oriented content. But then again, Miller and company’s decision to produce a film as potentially offensive as theirs appears to be makes up for much of the movie’s charm, and most of the original character’s deciding personality and thematic purpose – something that makes this decision on behalf of the Chinese disappointing to say the least.
Deadpool will see theatrical release on February 12th, 2016, followed by X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27th, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3rd, 2017; and an untitled X-Men film on July 13th, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.