Last month it was revealed that an “untitled Deadpool movie” was hitting theaters on December 21. Many assumed it was that most un-Deadpool of movies: a PG-13 version of the comic book series that thrives on being anti-comic book movie and very, very R-rated. And the people who assumed that did not make an ass out of them or us: On top of an uncut version of Deadpool 2, the world is also getting a PG-13 Deadpool 2, and star Ryan Reynolds even shot new scenes for it.
Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick spoke to /Film about the new version. “About two months ago we were out on soundstages shooting again,” Wernick said. “Ryan was in the suit and the gang was back together, [director] Dave Leitch and Ryan and us having a great time and laughing. It comes together great so we’re super excited about it.”
In late September, Reynolds teased the new version of the movie, whose original version came out over the summer, with a cryptic image of him in costume reading to a modern-day Fred Savage, parodying The Princess Bride and suggesting that that will be part of this new version.
However you feel about a PG-13 Deadpool 2 — and it does strongly suggest that the studio simply wants more money out of a film that could only make so much while rated R, doesn’t it? — going back and shooting new footage is more creative than other traditional workarounds. Racy films have usually been censored and/or re-dubbed for television broadcast. The Coen brothers memorably sent this up with their TV cut of The Big Lebowski, which boasted some truly bizarre and very Coen-y re-worked dialogue they did personally for their sublimely trash-mouthed film.
This PG-13 Deadpool 2 is a lot what Paramount did to Saturday Night Fever in the late 70s: They took a runaway success that was, some people forget, a very hard R, and they made a PG version, in an attempt to make even more money than they already did.
Anyway, isn’t it so Deadpool to go out of its way to make a more kid-friendly version? So clever, that Deadpool. It’d be kind of funny if they somehow worked in the Baby Hitler bit that was cut from even the theatrical version.