The blockbuster success of “Logan” ($468 million, and counting worldwide) has renewed discussion of R-rated superhero films, with fans and industry observers wondering whether mature themes aimed at older audiences will result in better stories and bigger box-office returns.
One person who can address the topic with some authority is Rhett Reese, who co-wrote the screenplay of last year’s surprise spring hit, “Deadpool.” Speaking with SuperHeroHype, he opined that a tamer take on Marvel’s Merc With a Mouth would likely have fared just as well.
“Well I think a lot of people just felt like the R-rating had everything to do with it,” Rheese said. “While I agree to a certain extent, I personally feel like a PG-13 ‘Deadpool’ still would have succeeded because I think it’s more about the character. You can’t just slap an R-rating on something and have it be good. That’s definitely one element of a lot of other elements. I think people are attributing a little too much to that. That said, having the ability to break those rules with an R-rating did help us.”
While “Deadpool” may have pushed the envelope in terms of sexual humor and violence, audiences also responded to the “Beauty and Beast” element folded into the classic revenge story.
Directed by Tim Miller, the Fox film was made on a modest $58 million budget, and earned $420 million worldwide. “Deadpool” has spawned a sequel, this time helmed by David Leitch (“John Wick”), which will see Reynolds joined by Zazie Beetz as Domino. Targeted for release in 2018, the film also stars Brianna Hildebrand as Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Karan Soni as Dopinder and Stefan Kapičić, presumably, as the voice of Colossus.