Ryan Reynolds might be at odds with Disney over Deadpool and the two haven’t even made a movie together yet. From the recent rumors, it hasn’t been all that great of a start in the opening relationship and things might be set to get a little rockier going forward. That’s because it looks like there is already some significant disagreement about the path of the next film, Deadpool 3. According to insider Daniel Richtman, while it looks like Reynolds wants to keep things decidedly R-rated, the studio is shooting for a PG-13 designation. That could mean big changes for the film.
This recent rumor comes after news last week that Ryan Reynolds had moved his Maximum Effort production company off of the Disney lot. There was speculation at the time that this move was in response to Reynolds being incredibly unhappy with the proposed direction for the next film in the Deadpool franchise. This, of course, is the first of the franchise that will come under the Disney umbrella. The previous two had been under 20th Century Fox and took the superhero movie genre in a decidedly different direction.
Deadpool, when it was released, came with an R-rating designation and for good reason. The film was an “adult” take on the superhero genre if there ever was one. It was foul-mouthed in every way and violently graphic well beyond anything we’d seen from other films in the comic book world. And it completely worked in every imaginable way. With Ryan Reynolds bringing everything and more to the role, Deadpool became the highest-grossing R-rated film of all-time when it hit in 2016. I’d say, from that metric, it worked.
But last year, Disney merged 20th Century Fox into the Mouse brand and brought with it the catalog of movies and all future projects. That included bringing Deadpool into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Obviously, the latter has had its own brand of overwhelming and record-breaking success over the years. And it appears this is where Ryan Reynolds is coming at odds with the studio. They want to make the movie more family-friendly and the actor wants to keep it in the same vein as previous films in the franchise. Both would appear to have a solid case and reasoning behind the desired directions.
I suspect all parties know that their respective future successes are intrinsically linked together now for better or worse. There is no Deadpool 3 without Ryan Reynolds and Disney now fully controls the character and the rights. While we might be in a standoff right now, this could just be posturing to get something out of the other side. I suspect the track record for the tone of Deadpool movies ultimately wins the day, but there’s always some chance we do get a more family-friendly version as well. Is there a middle ground to this? Possibly, and I think they come to some kind of resolution sooner than later. It’s just too big a franchise to call it quits over a rating dispute.