If there’s one ‘superhero’ decidedly NOT built for a younger audience it’s the profane Marvel Comics character Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds championed an ‘adults-only’ big-screen adaptation for nearly a decade and finally got it made. Fox was rewarded with excellent box-office for both the Deadpool films to date, despite usually wanting to gear its products (particularly the superhero genre) to as wider (read: PG-13) audience as possible. 2016’s Deadpool and 2018’s Deadpool 2 stand as the most profitable R-rated films ever released with the sequel being the fifth highest box-office of this year.
So why is a PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 about to debut? Has the Merc with the Mouth finally sold out for more dirty moolar?
Yes and No. Purists shouldn’t worry too much. The film may have been re-edited for a younger audience (the more explicit language and violence cut down or out entirely and re-titled as ‘Once Upon a Deadpool‘) but it’s all for a limited theatrical engagement and a good cause. $1 of every ticket sold for the performances will go to the Fuck Cancer campaign (which, in the spirit of the gesture and the season is renaming itself as Fudge Cancer for the duration). As well as the re-editing, which will actually see about three minutes snipped from the original running-time, Reynolds also brought actor Fred Savage into some extra footage that was all shot on one day and will be used to frame the new version. Lampooning the book-ending role Savage played as a young boy to whom Peter Falk’s grandpa reads The Princess Bride, Savage has joked he welcomed being kidnapped for such a good cause.
Despite the altruistic aspects, Fox as a studio will be watching how well the experiment does and it could influence how any future Deadpool films are folded in to the slowly-being-consolidated Marvel Universe and the studio’s general release strategies given the sometimes awkward nature of Deadpool’s appeal.
The ‘twelve days of Deadpool ‘ will begin on 12th December and run in selected US cinemas until Christmas Eve…