Deadpool Writer Says Third Movie “Absolutely” Can Be R-Rated Under Disney

Deadpool franchise co-writer Rhett Reese says the upcoming Deadpool 3 can "absolutely" retain its R-rating under Disney, who acquired 20th Century Fox in a $71.3 billion acquisition last March. Star and producer Ryan Reynolds in December confirmed development on the next Deadpool had shifted under Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios, saying on Live With Kelly and Ryan, "We're working on it right now with the whole team. We're over at Marvel [Studios] now, which is like the big leagues all of a sudden. It's kinda crazy. So yeah, we're working on it." Asked if Deadpool 3 could receive and R-rating when released by Disney, Reese said:

"Absolutely, because I don't think it'll be under the Disney banner," Reese told Screen Rant when promoting the home release of Zombieland: Double Tap with co-writer Paul Wernick. "Like, I don't think when you go to Deadpool 3, there's going to be a Magic Castle that appears. I think it's going to be under the Fox banner, so yes."

While most Marvel Studios productions are distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (with the exception of the Sony-distributed Spider-Man movies), Disney's opening castle logo does not appear before Marvel's films. Keeping Deadpool under the "Fox" banner allows Disney to distribute more adult-oriented content not permitted under its more family-focused brand. (The label will be dropping the "Fox" name and "20th Century Fox" will shift to "20th Century Studios," according to recent reports.)

During a December 2018 investors call, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said he was open to the first R-rated Marvel Studios picture.

"[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool," Iger said. "As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine."

Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige, who will wield creative control over the franchise's new direction, also indicated he intends to leave Deadpool as an R-rated franchise.

"When we [Marvel Studios] were purchased [by Disney], Bob said to us, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,'" Feige previously told Variety. "There’s no question that Deadpool is working, so why would we change it?"

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A release date for the next Deadpool has not been announced.

Upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, The Eternals on November 6, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision in 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, Spider-Man 3 on July 16, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.

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