Will Disney Really Ruin ‘Deadpool’ or Should Fans Relax a Little Bit?

Hard as it may be to believe, some Deadpool fans might not be looking forward to the third movie. Now that Disney has bought Fox, the studio that released the Deadpool movies, some are fretting that Disney won’t allow R-rated superhero movies and the “merc with the mouth” will lose his edge. 

It would be very entertaining to hear Deadpool himself respond to them because all indications are that nothing about Deadpool will change, even though Mickey Mouse will be his boss.

Contrary to what some believe, Disney has released R-rated movies before, and there are signs that Fox will be the company’s outlet to release R-rated fare.

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Deadpool is now part of the Disney ‘family’

When Disney bought 20th Century Fox the rights to all the characters that Fox controlled came with it. That includes the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Deadpool. While no formal plans have been announced for Reed Richards and company or the mutants, a Deadpool 3 is a given. 

It has no release date, but If there’s one thing Disney is not apt to do, it’s to leave money on the table. The two Deadpool movies have made $682 million here and $1.5 billion worldwide. Sure, Disney already has the Avengers, but if Hollywood likes anything better than one successful franchise, it’s two successful franchises. And there’s even talk that Deadpool will join the Avengers. 

But he will still be his profane self

While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never gotten anything other than a PG-13 rating, We Got This Covered says that Deadpool will not be restricted once he’s crossed over into the MCU. 

In an interview with Variety, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said, “When we were purchased, (Disney CEO) Bob (Iger)  said to us, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ “There’s no question that Deadpool is working, so why would we change it?”

We Got This Covered’s source says that Deadpool will still break the fourth wall with his dirty meta-commentary, which will surely include family-unfriendly jokes about joining the Disney family.

The Simpsons kept their biting sense of humor in their Disney announcement, with Dumbo crushing Homer, so it stands to reason that Disney won’t sand the edges off Wade either. Besides, Deadpool already made Disney jokes in the PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 called Once Upon a Deadpool. 

Disney has made R-rated movies before

Fans’ concerns are understandable and not entirely misplaced. When Deadpool first appeared in the PG-13 X-Men Origins Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds was literally muted. Ironically, some of the character’s scenes in that movie had him being physically unable to talk – an interesting bit of unintended (?)  symbolism if there ever was one. 

Before the Disney/Fox merger was in the wind, Fox had taken the bold step of releasing first the R-rated Deadpool and the R-rated Logan. The latter was especially notable since all the X-Men films had been PG-13, and Deadpool takes place in the X-Men universe.  But the gamble worked, with great financial success for both movies, and Logan even got an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. 

Disney does not release R-rated movies with the Disney castle logo at the start, but it uses imprints to do that. In the 1980s, when the company was reviving after years of stagnation, they created the Touchstone label to release movies for more mature audiences. So Down and Out in Beverly Hills, even though it had the Touchstone logo on the front, was a Disney movie – and it was a hit too.

It’s not exactly clear yet if Disney will make Fox the new Touchstone. It sort of happened with the release of Stuber, the Kumail Nanjiani/Dave Bautista ride-sharing comedy, but that was a movie made by Fox before the Disney purchase was complete. But however Disney handles the Fox label, it’s a good bet that Deadpool will remain unchanged.