Is Free Guy a Test for Disney's PG-13 Deadpool Plans?

Ryan Reynolds was on-hand at CCXP19 Saturday to unveil the first trailer to Free Guy, the upcoming comedy film from 20th Century Fox. The trailer is a hilarious look into the world of a video game where a non-playable character (Ryan Reynolds) decides that he wants to join in on the fun. Though risque at times, the trailer doesn't go overboard with swearing or gore, leading some to believe Free Guy could be a test from Disney for another franchise Reynolds leads. One popular fan theory suggests the movie, in fact, will be under close scrutiny from the executives at Disney to see if it's the type of humor they could use for a third Deadpool movie. Not just that, but it could also be under a microscope to see if the next Deadpool movie could get the classic PG-13 rating instead of a hard R rating.

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The theory was initially posted on Reddit by u/Filipino_Buddha, who suggests Disney might not be all-in on R-rated superhero movies just quite yet. "Free Guy has such a Deadpool vibe to it," the theorist posts. "The humor, the action, and just Ryan Reynolds in it. Disney and Marvel Studios are testing to see how Free Guy can be used as a template for a PG13 version of Deadpool since Disney bought out Fox and Marvel Studios definitely are adding X-Men and Deadpool into the MCU."

There are a few questions posed by the theory that jump out right away. One, Free Guy has yet to receive a rating and it's technically possible the movie could get an R rating. That'd be a surprising case, however, because the trailer used the logos to Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King right off at the beginning. Then there's the fact Marvel Studios and Disney have both said R-rated movies aren't automatic disqualifiers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At one point, Disney chief Bob Iger even said "never say never" when it comes to making edgier movies a part of the world's biggest film franchise.

Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in spring 2021, Loki in spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If? In summer 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, Hawkeye in fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.