There’s a reason it took years for 20th Century Fox to greenlight Deadpool. It’s a risky movie—its R-rating is limiting (well, supposedly), its handsome leading man is disfigured and masked for over half the film, and it breaks with story conventions in a big way by having Deadpool directly address the audience. The perseverance and passion of all involved paid off in spades, though, as the film broke a number of box office records, including the highest opening of any X-Men movie ever. That is huge any way you slice it, and especially when you consider the film’s R-rating.
So the Deadpool gamble paid off. But does this mean we’re about to get a slew of R-rated superhero movies? Perhaps, but it’s important to realize that the R-rating for Deadpool wasn’t something decided upon flippantly. It was in service of the very specific tone of the film, so not every superhero movie needs to be R-rated. That said, with Deadpool existing in a larger superhero universe that includes the X-Men, Wolverine, and an upcoming Gambit spinoff, could we see non-Deadpool Fox movies take on the R-rating?
Speaking at a Q&A following Collider’s exclusive IMAX preview screening of Deadpool, producer Simon Kinberg—who is essentially the overseer of Fox’s superhero universe—was asked whether there were any other specific properties he could envision being R-rated:
“I think there are some stories that could be R-rated. I don’t know what they are, I mean I think the mainline X-Men movies have their own tone, which is a more operatic tone. It’s more dramatic, it is more PG-13 in a way. X-Force I could see being R-rated, and who knows?”
Rob Liefeld was quick to point out that Kinberg’s last bit there would become a headline (and, as evidenced by this article, it has!), so the producer clarified he’s not saying X-Force will be Rated-R, but it could be:
“I’m saying I could imagine a universe in which [X-Force is R-rated].”
Indeed, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recently said making an X-Force movie was his next priority, and it stands to reason if Deadpool is going to be the anchor that holds the X-Force together, an R-rating would be fitting. What is X-Force, you may be wondering? The comics team is essentially a slightly darker, more aggressive version of the X-Men, with members including Deadpool, Colossus, Cyclops, Archangel, Wolverine, and Cable. That last one—Cable—is the character Deadpool director Tim Miller and his team most want to tackle in the now-guaranteed Deadpool sequel, so it makes sense that following Deadpool 2, we could see an X-Force movie kick up some serious steam.
But that’s likely a long ways off. Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow was previously developing X-Force at Fox a few years ago, but his iteration of the project fell by the wayside. For now, Fox’s priority will no doubt be to continue building out its X-Men universe with a Deadpool sequel and a solid Gambit movie, then we can likely start talking about X-Force. Which may or may not be Rated R.
Watch the full Q&A from our IMAX screening below, which includes Kinberg, Miller, and Liefeld.