When the family-focused Walt Disney Company moved to acquire 20th Century Fox, many wondered if the integration of Marvel properties would have one particular casualty: the R-rated nature of Deadpool.
Well, on a recent earnings call, the CEO of Disney Bob Iger assured investors that Disney plans on keeping Deadpool rated R and that R-rated movies will be a part of their plans moving forward.
“We’re going to continue in that business,” Iger said according to Variety. Adding that “There’s certainly popularity” for movies like that. Iger explained that to differentiate between R-rated movies and more family-friendly fare the company will be “carefully branding [R-rated films]…so we’re not in any way confusing the consumer.” Meaning, they are unlikely to say “Disney” at the beginning of them. Which makes sense—for instance, Disney owns ESPN but there’s no castle in front of Monday Night Football. ESPN is its own brand and Fox may continue to be its own brand as well. At least for R-rated movies.
Iger has alluded to this in the past. Way back in 2017, he answered a similar question by saying “We think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.” But today’s assertion was much more definitive.
It seems possible the fact Once Upon a Deadpool, the PG-13 recut of Deadpool 2, underperformed at the box office played a role in this. If that film had brought in a whole new audience for a character, maybe Disney would’ve considered taming him down. But, it seems, the merc will get to to keep his mouth.
The bigger question, though, remains unanswered. Will that continued R-rated world of Deadpool extended into the PG-13 world of the Avengers or, eventually, the X-Men? We still don’t know, but we’ll bring you more as we learn it.
This post has been updated to include Iger’s quotes about the subject from back in 2017.
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