A playful, self-aware nutjob, Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, provides a running meta-commentary on his own comic book adventures, which tend to be gleefully ultra-violent, in keeping with Deadpool's origins as a goofy riff on the tough-as-nails, gun-toting, pouch-wearing anti-heroes who crowded comics in the late eighties and early nineties. So ever since Fox whiffed the character in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, "R" has been the watchword for Deadpool, a watchword repeated by Reynolds and X-franchise producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
“It’s been a long time, but it’s happened in the right way and that’s all that matters,” Reynolds commented earlier this year, seemingly confirming the coveted but commercially riskier rating, saying, “We don’t have the kind of money that most superhero movies do, but that’s great, actually. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s why we get to make the movie we want to make.”
But it was still an open question. The economic realities of comic book movies suggested a PG-13 was more likely. When Reynolds took to Twitter on Monday, he promised, "I want #Deadpool to be R. Always have. Fighting the good fight still. Lotta yelling today." That didn't sound too promising.
It sounded a whole lot worse when he confirmed the watered down rating on April Fool's Day, tweeting, "A PG-13
#deadpool will still have 4th wall breaking, a shit-ton of action and at least 3 chimichangas. Zero need to panic. I promise."
But Reynolds is a cunning Canadian, and his confirmation was a ruse, one exposed by the actor himself via a faux-Extra interview that debuted at JoBlo:
As if murdering Mario Lopez wasn't enough, Reynolds made it abundantly clear that Deadpool will have no shortage of what fans love, declaring,"February 12th. There will be blood. Guns. F-bombs. And graphic, expertly lit French Unicorn sex. #deadpoolRatedR @deadpoolmovie #Aprilpools"
Tim Miller, a visual effects veteran, makes his feature directorial debut with Deadpool, currently shooting in Reynolds' native Vancouver, B.C.
Reynolds is joined in this unlikely comic book movie by Morena Baccarrin as Vanessa Geraldine Carlysle, aka Copycat, TJ Miller as Wade's sidekick/hardware guru Weasel, Ed Skrein (presumably playing the as-yet unidentified villain) and Gina Carano as obscure mutant Angel Dust. There will also be roles for familiar mutants like Colossus, who won't be played by X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men: Days of Future Past actor Daniel Cudmore.
Since Deadpool is definitely part of Fox's quickly expanding X-Men Universe, it's not too much to expect some cameos and/or shouts out to next year's X-Men: Apocalypse and Gambit, which stars Channing Tatum as the Ragin' Cajun.
Deadpool slices and dices in theaters February 12, 2016.