Though he’s long been ousted from that franchise — creative differences with star Ryan Reynolds means he wasn’t invited to return and direct “Deadpool 2” — former “Deadpool” director Tim Miller is still giving his thoughts about the merc with the mouth. In a recent interview with Inverse promoting the newest season of his surrealist animated anthology series “Love, Death & Robots,” Miller made some curious comments regarding the R-Rated nature of his 2016 hit iteration of “Deadpool.”
Miller’s quote touches on the global nature of well-constructed characters and storytelling, pushing back against the rigid parameters and misinterpreted implications of the rating system. But more importantly, he believes “Deadpool” could still live on without an R-Rating.
“I think Ryan Reynolds‘ take on the character and the way he embraces the particular kind of insanity — even if you said he’s not gonna use four-letter words — would still be there. He still is that character. You can take the R-rated parts out of it if you wanted, and it would still be Deadpool if Ryan was doing it.”
Miller suggests that Reynolds’ Deadpool can still exist in his distinctly humorous and macabre fashion without absolutely needing the R rating. While one can already hear a legion of fans protesting that “they have to stay true to the comics!,” That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. With a property as large, accessible, and profitable as the MCU, there are a plethora of ethical and financial implications that must be considered before we start waving the R rating around like a coveted credential of serious and “gritty” superhero movies (though Marvel’s Kevin Feige has said in the past Deadpool will remain R-Rated, integration with PG-13 MCU characters gets a bit more tricky). Here’s an interesting tangent: scholar and YouTuber Patrick (H) Willems delves deeper into this discussion in his piece “What’s the Point of R-Rated Superheroes?”
Regardless of how you feel about R-rated superhero flicks, Tim Miller shouldn’t be treated as the sole authority over the current iteration of “Deadpool.” Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote the film, and the 2018 sequel was helmed by David Leitch (“John Wick,” “Atomic Blonde”). Moreover, as Miller himself cites, many character traits exist inherently in Reynolds’ performance (Reynolds even got co-writing credits alongside Reese and Wernick on “Deadpool 2”).
Nevertheless, it looks as if Reynolds’ Deadpool will officially debut in the MCU with “Deadpool 3,” which is said to be (*gasp*) rated R. Based on the most recent reports, the script is still in development, but it’s key and important to note, Reese and Wernick — who developed and shepherded “Deadpool” for a good seven years before it made it to the screen — are curiously no longer involved in the franchise.