It's time to get ready for Once Upon a Deadpool, as Fox's PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 is now officially titled. The film was only announced back at the end of September and, as indicated, is an all-ages appropriate version of the very R-rated Deadpool sequel that hit theaters this past May. The latter grossed $734 million at the global box office against an $110 million budget, in addition to earning generally positive reviews from critics and general audiences alike (if also less enthusiastic reviews than those for the original Deadpool movie).
While official details for the PG-13 Deadpool 2 cut have been difficult to come by, Wade Wilson himself, Ryan Reynolds, previously offered a tease in the form of the above screenshot. As the image implies, Once Upon a Deadpool features a story framing device where a jolly-looking Deadpool "reads" the Deadpool sequel to Fred Savage ("playing" a grownup version of his character from The Princess Bride), in addition to action scenes, violence, and language that has been toned down to fit a PG-13 rating. It has since been confirmed that the footage for that framing device was shot over the course of a single day and makes up the vast majority (if not the entirety) of the new scenes that Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick put together for the sequel's PG-13 cut.
Deadline has exclusively revealed the logo for Once Upon a Deadpool, which you can check out below. The sequel is now set to begin its limited-engagement run in theaters starting December 12 (which is nine days earlier than the film's previously-announced December 21 release date) and carrying on through to Christmas Eve. Further, for every single ticket that Once Upon a Deadpool sells, one dollar will be donated to Reynolds' F*** Cancer charity cause (which has been renamed Fudge Cancer, in honor of the film's PG-13 rating).
Once Upon a Deadpool will feature eight scenes with Deadpool and Savage altogether, but will nevertheless run three minutes shorter than Deadpool 2's R-rated cut overall. Reynolds also provided Deadline with an explanation (albeit, a characteristically cheeky one) for why he finally agreed to make a PG-13 Deadpool movie, after years of Fox asking for one:
“Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006. I’ve said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said ‘Yes’ on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining…”
All things considered, Once Upon a Deadpool seems like a fun way to raise some money for charity (while, obviously, putting some cash in Fox's pocket at the same time). It should also provide a proper litmus test for what a PG-13 rated Deadpool movie starring Reynolds could be like, before Disney completes its acquisition of Fox and formally makes the X-Men franchise at large part of the decidedly family-friendly Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who knows: the PG-13 versions of Reynolds as Deadpool, Josh Brolin as Cable, Zazie Beetz as Domino and the rest of the X-Force from Deadpool 2 might actually be funnier in Once Upon a Deadpool than they were in the original R-rated iteration.