We loved Deadpool for not holding back. It was fully deserving of its R-rating. Yes, it was possible too crude and lewd and packed with innuendo and excessive violence for some, but that was exactly what the character is all about. Watching Deadpool was a fresh departure from the sometimes too amiable Marvel offerings of the Avengers etc..
While we think it might be a stretch to hail Deadpool as a complete superhero movie ‘game-changer,’ it has indicated to major film studios that R-rated comic book movies have a bankable future.
Clearly they have forgotten about Blade… but that’s none of our business.
After a record-crushing opening weekend which saw Ryan Reynolds’s Merc rake in well over $150 million (comfortably surpassing the previous record haul of Fifty Shades of Grey), producers and executives are now looking to usher in an exciting new chapter in the superhero movie genre.
While DC movies have offered a darker, more emotionally complex narratives with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel – not to mention the upcoming one-two punch of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad – Deadpool has re-established the relevancy of the R-rated superhero movie.
Deadpool is on track to becoming the most successful and popular R-rated comic book movie of all time and that will only pave the way for a slate of new films to follow in its expletive-riddled footsteps. It’s also interesting to note that Deadpool does exist within the extended X-Men universe and that could mean making future projects more in line with an “R rating.”
Producer Simon Kinberg—who is essentially the chief of Fox’s superhero universe—was asked whether there were any other specific properties he could envision being R-rated after the success of Deadpool: “I think there are some stories that could be R-rated. I don’t know what they are, I mean I think the mainline X-Men movies have their own tone, which is a more operatic tone. It’s more dramatic, it is more PG-13 in a way. X-Force I could see being R-rated, and who knows?”
Add that to what Reynolds said immediately after Deadpool was released: “There’s so much material to mine in just the X-Men universe … In the future, if we’re doing a bunch more Deadpool movies, we’re really going to explore the X-Men a lot. We’ll see. And maybe X-Force — X-Force is my priority. I really want to get that in.”
So, with further Deadpool movies guaranteed and a likelihood of X-Force arriving in the same vein, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of R-rated superhero movies.
In related news…
The image below popped up on Reddit and is reportedly a handout from NY Toy Fare which says Wolverine III, The Wolverine, is aiming for an R -Rating. (Keep scrolling)
In further related news, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has had a rant on his Facebook page, following a quote in Deadline which implied that Marvel are too stiff to make movies like Deadpool. We have the whole rant below, but we can’t help feeling that, while we loved Deadpool, the ripples on the pond it is causing studio execs to re-evaluate how they make these movies. And that’s just silly because what works for one movie won’t always work for others.
And, for the record, we like being able to bring our kids to superhero movies, so let’s not ruin it for everyone, ok?
Anyway, here’s Gunn’s rant:
“The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”
That’s a quote from Deadline Hollywood, attributing it to a Hollywood “suit.” I love Deadline and get a lot of my film business news from them. And I love Deadpool even more – the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film – but COME THE FUCK ON. That’s no reason to rewrite history. This quote has to have been said by the dumbest fucking Hollywood exec in the history of dumb fucking Hollywood execs.
Let’s ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down – God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the fuck was Ant-Man??!
Come on, Deadline.
After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It “wasn’t afraid to be fun” or it “was colorful and funny” etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up “like Guardians,” and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
Deadpool wasn’t that. Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.
For the theatrical experience to survive, spectacle films need to expand their definition of what they can be. They need to be unique and true voices of the filmmakers behind them. They can’t just be copying what came before them.
So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you’ll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They’ll be green lighting films “like Deadpool” – but, by that, they won’t mean “good and original” but “a raunchy superhero film” or “it breaks the fourth wall.” They’ll treat you like you’re stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn’t do.
But hopefully in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this – like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool – and say – “Boy, maybe we can give them something they don’t already have.”
And that’s who is going to succeed.
Have a great day.