Before Deadpool was given the green light by 20th Century Fox last fall, it was stalled in pre-production for years. The film had a well-received script from Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, a willing star in Ryan Reynolds (who had portrayed Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and a director in Tim Miller. The Deadpool movie needed a push, which it received in the form of Miller’s leaked test footage.
However, after Fox officially fast-tracked Deadpool for a February 2016 release date, rumors and speculation about the film’s rating began flying. On April Fool’s Day, the team behind Deadpool – with help from Extra’s Mario Lopez – announced the film would “of course, be rated R.” Now, Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld and Reynolds have both commented on the announcement.
Liefeld posted a photo to Instagram of himself with Reynolds on the set of Deadpool along with a lengthy “Deadpool rant.” The creator recalled seeing Wade Wilson brought to life by Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as well as the years-long process of seeing the standalone Deadpool movie come together. Additionally, Liefeld assured fans that the new film will be “a cinematic comic book experience unlike any you have experienced!”
Check out Liefeld’s photo and comments:
Congrats to Team Deadpool on each and every victory along the Deadpool highway! The R rating ensures the film will be unique and faithful to the amazing vision of the filmakers Tim Miller, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan freakin' Reynolds!! DEADPOOL RANT....So you're thinking, "of course Liefeld, you brought Deadpool to life, what else are we to expect but you to cheer, homer." Let's get something straight, after Wolverine:Origins I went on the apology tour, for those many umpteen thousands of you who came up to me at the bazillion conventions I do and asked me "Hey, Liefeld, what did you think of Deadpool in Wolverine:Origins?" you saw me smile through gritted teeth and give a very deliberate response "Well, it's a good start.." Because I already knew that there were plans underway to restore Deadpool and that given the opportunity, the new team that Ryan was assembling would produce the film we all wanted. But I knew that I couldn't apologize twice, I couldn't smile through gritted teeth any longer, this one would have to be earned. Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick came on board and wrote the most amazing, exciting, unique comic book script I'd ever read. Even my Marvel pals have confided and said, "Wow, that Deadpool script...That's spectacular..It should get made" but it didn't. And years passed and management at Fox passed and executives came and went, each unable to move it forward. During this time, the outstanding Tim Miller stepped into the directors chair to guide the film and from the word go, he started making things happen. I saw storyboards, costume designs and animatics. The vision was becoming a reality and that amazing test reel footage was shot and I thought for certain that the film would be on its way to a green light. Then...more waiting. And here we are, this outstanding vision is being filmed and prepared for a Feb. 12th 2016 release date. I can tell you that you are in for a cinematic comic book experience unlike any you have experienced! Deadpool is all that you've been waiting for and a round of applause to Tim, Rhett, Paul, Ryan and Simon Kinberg for seeing it through! #robliefeld #deadpool
Due to the violent nature of the Merc with a Mouth’s character and storylines, rumors about the film’s rating kicked off soon after the announcement of Deadpool moving forward. First it was believed Fox greenlit Deadpool aiming for a PG-13 rating, though Reese was quick to cast doubt on that rumor. More recently, Reynolds replied to a question on Twitter about the rating, saying he was “fighting the good fight still.”
Days later, on April Fool’s, the Deadpool rating video was released and Reynolds, Reese, and Liefeld all confirmed the R-rating on Twitter. The video, a parody on an interview between Reynolds and Extra host Mario Lopez, was followed up by a legitimate interview with the Deadpool star.
In the interview on Extra, Reynolds discussed the announcement video with Lopez – who wished for a more violent on-screen death, but said it “ironically” had to be toned down. Reynolds explained the thought process behind revealing the rating by way of the parody interview:
“I know there’s a lot of contention online and all over the place about is ‘Deadpool’ going to be faithful, is it going to be rated R, is it going to be the way it should be. So, we thought we would just have a little bit of fun with that idea.”
Judging by the video’s four million views and the online reaction from fans, it seems Reynolds and the team behind Deadpool came up with a successfully entertaining – not to mention original – way of informing fans about the film’s rating.
As for whether or not the final film stays true to the heart of the character, the R-rating, along with Reynolds’ and Liefeld’s comments, should offer hope to fans of the comics. Of course, as we’ve seen with past films adapted from comic books, Deadpool likely won’t live up to the expectations of everyone.
That being said, Deadpool has a highly praised script, a cast and crew who are heavily invested in doing justice to the Merc with a Mouth, well-received test footage, and a vote of confidence from the character’s creator. Though we can’t be sure whether the film will live up to expectations until it premieres next year, all indicators point toward, as Liefeld said, a unique and entertaining comic book movie experience.
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016