Deadpool fans are very excited they are finally getting a third film starring their hero, and they mostly seem very pleased that it will co-star Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. The sense I get when I speak to folks who are looking forward to this movie is their big concern is the tone. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, fun and bombastic as it might be, is an entirely PG-13-rated place. And Deadpool has always been an R-rated franchise. Marvel has maintained from the beginning that Deadpool 3 will be rated R, but it seems like a lot of fans are taking a I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it attitude toward the whole thing.

According to Deadpool 3 director Shawn Levy, though, you should expect Deadpool 3 to be in line with the previous installments made by Fox. Speaking with Collider, he explained that one of his few regrets in his entire career was that he “got strong-armed into recutting The Internship from an R to a PG-13” because “the R-rated version of Vince [Vaughn] and Owen [Wilson] in The Internship was way better.” (Having seen the PG-13-rated version of The Internship, I would hope so.) He added that “the me of today would not have succumbed like the me of 20, whatever, 12 years ago.”


He also promised that “it's also a North Star priority for Ryan [Reynolds] and I to keep Deadpool raw, gritty, grounded in the ways that those movies have been and that all of us love.”

It would be foolish for Marvel to try to make a PG-13 Deadpool movie — and not just because it would upset all of the franchise’s longtime fans. Marvel releases three MCU movies a year these days, and they’re all PG-13-rated. By making a more adult, R-rated Deadpool 3, the film instantly has a hook that makes it different from everything else Marvel churns out. That automatically makes it more interesting to casual and hardcore fans alike. A PG-13 Deadpool, even with Hugh Jackman, is just another Marvel film. An R-rated one immediately becomes a bit of an event.

Deadpool 3 is currently scheduled to open in theaters on November 8, 2024.

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