Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have revealed that they wrote brand-new material for the film's PG-13 cut, which was shot a couple months ago. Curiously enough, this family-friendly version of the decidedly not family-friendly superhero sequel will actually be the movie's second "new" cut, after Fox unveiled the so-called Deadpool 2: The Super Duper Cut during a special screening at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer.
The very idea of a PG-13 Deadpool 2 wasn't even a glimmer in the public's eye until about a month ago, when Fox adjusted its release schedule and bumped its Alita: Battle Angel movie from December 2018 to a February 2019 release date, with a PG-13 Untitled Deadpool Movie taking its previous spot. It has since been indicated that the film will be a different cut of Deadpool 2 that includes a framing device where a festive-looking Deadpool "reads" the sequel to Fred Savage, as a now-grown version of his nameless grandson character from The Princess Bride.
That sounds like an appropriately comical, self-reflexive storytelling approach for a Deadpool movie, but the scenes with Savage shouldn't be the only new footage that the PG-13 Deadpool 2 has to offer. In an interview with Slashfilm to promote their upcoming YouTube Premium series Wayne, Reese and Wernick confirmed they wrote and filmed fresh material with star Ryan Reynolds and director David Leitch pretty recently:
Paul Wernick: “We definitely shot new stuff. And recently too. After Deadpool 2 came out and we were all sitting around, we came to it less about the idea of let’s make a PG-13 movie and more, ‘Let’s talk a little bit about Deadpool.’ We were kicking around some ideas and then I think it was Ryan [Reynolds] who had the great framing device and we all got excited and went to the studio. They said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. Fire up the cameras.’ About two months ago we were out on soundstages shooting again. Ryan was in the suit and the gang was back together, Dave Leitch and Ryan and us having a great time and laughing. It comes together great so we’re super excited about it.”
It's already been speculated that the PG-13 Deadpool 2 (which is reportedly titled The Deadpool Before Christmas) is intended to serve as something of a test run for how a PG-13 Deadpool movie could work in the MCU, once Disney has finalized its acquisition of Fox and brought the X-Men into Marvel's shared cinematic universe. Reese and Wernick, for their part, didn't comment on that, but did emphasize that they feel the film's new cut will appeal to Deadpool fans of all ages, even without all the R-rated naughtiness:
Paul Wernick: “I think it’s not only going to appeal to kids but also to people who love Deadpool. I think it’s subversive enough and fun and creative and something that only Deadpool could do. So I think it’s going to be a real joy for not only a whole new audience, but also an audience that has seen and loved the Deadpool movies.”
Whether the idea is to simply fill the December slot left vacant in Fox's schedule after Alita moved to 2019 or give Reynolds' Merc With a Mouth a test-run for when he joins the MCU (or maybe both), it's been pointed out that the PG-13 Deadpool 2 cut may actually be funnier than its R-rated counterpart. A common criticism of the Deadpool sequel is that it succeeded in being more outrageous and ridiculous than the first film, but without being as clever as its predecessor. Now that Wade Wilson can't simply drop an F-bomb or slice a bad guy's head off as a punchline, the new cut of Deadpool 2 will have to find different (and, hopefully, smarter) ways to deliver equally big laughs without the "mature" touch.
The Untitled Deadpool Movie opens in U.S. theaters on Friday, December 21.