Deadpool 3, which is currently in development at Disney and Marvel Studios, will reportedly be rated R. While Ryan Reynolds first appeared as the character in 2009’s much-derided X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Merc with a Mouth truly became a household name with the debut of the character’s first proper solo movie in 2016. Deadpool was released to widespread critical praise and broke box office records, grossing $782.6 million worldwide. Its success led to Deadpool 2, a lucrative sequel that earned $785.7 million.
One of the reasons why the Deadpool movies were such big hits was their R rating, which allowed them to stand apart from a majority of comic book adaptations. This approach gave the creative team plenty of leeway and allowed them to depict over-the-top violence, raunchy comedy, and other adult-orientated topics to make the films feel fresh and exciting. That’s why there was some concern when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox’s entertainment assets, which moved the Deadpool franchise under the Mouse House umbrella. However, it seems like the series is remaining R-rated. As news of Deadpool 3 scoring a new writing team broke, Deadline’s Justin Kroll noted sources have told him the new movie will be R-rated like its predecessors.
Disney, of course, prefers to keep things family-friendly; all MCU installments to date have been rated PG-13. So, ever since the Fox acquisition, there have been conversations about Deadpool’s future on the big screen. That said, this latest update shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, seeing that former Disney CEO Bob Iger stated last year the Deadpool franchise would remain R-rated. It’s clearly a formula that works, so there’s little reason to change it and risk upsetting fans by watering the property down. This isn’t to say it’s impossible to make a successful PG-13 Deadpool movie, but the filmmakers would needlessly be hamstringing themselves when audiences have shown there’s a demand for R-rated comic book films.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how future Deadpool movies fit into the ongoing MCU continuity. The first two films were adjacent to Fox’s X-Men franchise, but largely operated as their own entity. It wouldn’t be surprising if Disney and Marvel did something similar with their Deadpool movies, allowing them to be separate from the core MCU storyline. That sounds easier than trying to find a way to fit Deadpool’s fourth wall-breaking shenanigans into the larger franchise. Tonally, the Deadpool movies are different from the MCU’s usual fare (even works like Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok), so it’d probably be for the best if Deadpool 3 was its own thing.