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Disney Reportedly Debating R-Rated MCU Deadpool Movies, PG-13 Team-Ups

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Disney is reportedly debating whether Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) can seamlessly move between R-rated Deadpool solo movies and PG-13 team-ups in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the finalization of the Disney-Fox deal earlier this year, the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four are finally back under the same umbrella as Marvel Studios. There's been a great deal of speculation about what that means and Disney CEO Bob Iger has offered regular updates, particularly after the deal finalized. One specific topic of discussion among fans has been what will happen to Deadpool, the only X-Men character not expected to be rebooted in the transition.

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The first two Deadpool movies were rated R, which was seen as a risk at the time the initial film premiered in 2016, but it went on to become the top grossing X-Men movie in 20th Century Fox's franchise. As a result, an R-rated sequel was a no-brainer for Fox, but now that Wade Wilson resides under the Disney banner, there's been speculation about whether the Mouse House will tone down Deadpool's penchant for violence and swearing. However, Iger has said Disney wants R-rated Deadpool movies, they just may not be in the MCU - since all the movies in that franchise have been PG-13. Now, though, it seems Disney is discussing whether they can feasibly have their cake and eat it too.

Related: Deadpool 3: Everything We Know (So Far)

During Disney's quarterly earnings call, Variety reporter Brent Lang tweeted about Iger confirming Deadpool, X-Men and Fantastic Four are now part of Marvel Studios, under the leadership of studio head Kevin Feige. In addition to Iger's comment, Lang also tweeted that sources had told him "there are debates [at Disney] about whether Deadpool can move seamlessly between R-rated solo outings and PG-13 rated MCU movies." This discussion at Disney was not mentioned on the earnings call.

Based on Lang's reporting, it seems that Disney and Marvel Studios aren't changing Deadpool for the sake of the MCU, and intend to keep the Merc with a Mouth R-rated. However, it seems the point of contention is whether that R-rated Deadpool can work within the confines of the PG-13 MCU. After all, one of the benefits of all these characters now being under Marvel Studios is the potential for crossovers. Fans want to see Deadpool and Spider-Man team up, and see Deadpool join the leagues of the Avengers or the MCU's new X-Men team. In fact, fans may even be willing to sacrifice R-rated Deadpool movies entirely for the chance of seeing Reynolds' superhero share the screen with MCU characters. As Deadpool 2 director David Leitch recently pointed out, Deadpool doesn't need to be R-rated.

So it remains to be seen what becomes of Deadpool now that he's at Disney. But if there's one studio that fans can have confidence in mixing R-rated and PG-13 movies in one franchise, it's Marvel Studios. Feige and his team have proven time and time again that they're capable of pulling off a film franchise that most resembles the comics, so it follows that Marvel Studios could find a way to meld the R-rated elements of Deadpool with the PG-13 MCU. Fans will just have to wait and see whether that includes R-rated solo Deadpool movies and PG-13 team-ups or another plan for the Merc with a Mouth in the MCU.

Next: Is Ryan Reynolds Teasing Deadpool For Marvel Phase 5?

Source: Brent Lang/Twitter

Key Release Dates
  • Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
  • Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
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