First off, I wanted it noted that no one that I know who is a fan of comics endorses a PG-13 version of Deadpool. The very idea takes away from the character, is reductive of the idea of adult targeted comics (which have existed longer than child targeted comics) and takes away from the very spirit of Deadpool.
Comics have a long history of political and social commentary . Everything from Superman literally meaning “Uber Meinch” (the Nazi ideal) to the X-men reflecting the attempted extermination of a different race every generation since they have been out (currently the Muslims), to Captain America’s patriotism only going as far as freedom does (hence why he turns against the US Government during Civil War), comics have ALWAYS been a reflection of ourselves and the world we live in. You have children stories telling adult story lines far beyond what the kids generally understand.
This never, in popular comics, goes so far as Deadpool does. Deadpool is a reflection of comics itself. He is the only character that knows he is in a comic book, so he is the only one not beholden to its rules. He doesn’t hold back so he only inflicts minor wounds. He does not arrest bad guys so they come back to haunt him later. He does not call people “bub” instead of “asshole”. He knows the rules and he chooses to ignore them, which is great, which is entertaining. Which is why people love the character.
So to put him in a movie and then give him rules.. It is counter intuitive to the character and takes away the idea of him reacting to the fact that he’s a comic character AND NOT REAL (for the record though, only one of his personalities recognizes that, but I don’t want to make this article more complicated than it is.). The R cut does not appear to be placing rules on him, but a PG-13 version surely would.
However. There is a demand. Not only the 3,197 signatures (as of this writing) that have signed the original petition, but hundreds of thousands of kids who can’t sign the petition and very recently, every comic book fan in China. So what’s a studio to do? Here are some options:
Release a PG-13 version at the same time? Hell no. There is not enough time to make another cut and it would confuse people enough that some might avoid the movie altogether.
Wait till it comes out on DVD and then release a safe version? Again, NO! You don’t think every underage kid from every corner of the world won’t sneak in to a screening or pirate by the time the DVD comes out? In 1991 I had a pirated copy of Nirvana “Nevermind” (with the secret track) in my hands and I didn’t pay a penny for it (I did however buy it eventually) . Kids are much smarter these days than I was then.
Let the internet make it for you? This was my favorite answer once I thought of this article until recently. The internet is going to make this version even if the studios don’t.. That is unless..
Fox does it themselves and releases it a month or so, in the theater, after the R release. The internet will make one if 20th Century Fox doesn’t, so Fox might as well make money off of it. They have to advertise they are doing so though. Make the “R” limited run, maybe JUST a month, then pull it and replace it with the PG-13 (or vice versa, the censored version first, then the R version, but then we fall into the first problem of rushing a censored cut). Here is the kicker though.. They have to do it right. They have to film a single scene where Deadpool acknowledges that this is the censored version, and they literally “bleep” all his curse words (complete with visual, comic book text popups with various &$(#@!! options). This is the only way you can keep the character true and still censor him. Basically by letting him acknowledge he’s being censored. By letting him tell the kids that the things he is saying is not for them. Lastly, by letting him tell the audience that censorship is bad and that the parents should not have let them see this movie AT ALL, let alone a censored version of it, as its still going to be violent.
Make an animated version of the movie that’s PG-13! I must admit, this is an edit to the original article. I thought of this after publishing it. But imagine a cartoon version of the movie, complete with the additions I mentioned above (except the judgement) and have that be published by Marvel themselves? Then you just leave the movie itself alone! Everybody wins!
IN OTHER WORDS: Let Deadpool use common sense where the parents aren’t.
So what do you think? Can a censored Deadpool actually still be entertaining and true to the character? Do you think the whole thing should be hands off? Let us know in the comments!