Deadpool (opening Feb. 12) won’t be the first R-rated superhero movie — but at a time when nearly every tentpole is rated PG-13, it’s definitely a rarity. (For example, there hasn’t been an R movie based on a Marvel property since 2008’s Punisher: War Zone.) At San Diego Comic-Con, Yahoo Movies spoke with Ryan Reynolds and the Deadpool cast about why their movie’s “hard R” rating is a badge of honor. Watch the interviews above.
For Reynolds, it was important that his Deadpool movie encompass the “core tenants” of Marvel’s mouthy anti-hero, which he describes as “breaking the fourth wall, the meta aspect, being self-aware, that hyper-ironized humor — he has to annoy everyone around him — and just a healthy splash of hyper violence.” Put all these together, and you have a formula for a superhero movie that is decidedly not kid-friendly. “We would have been highly limiting ourselves if we’d done it in a PG-13 context,” Reynolds tells Yahoo Movies.
That said, T.J. Miller (who plays Deadpool’s sidekick Weasel) wants fans to know that the R rating is not just for shock value. “I think it’s less to try and be edgy or push the envelope or any hack stuff like that, and it’s more just that he lives and breathes in this world where they curse, drink and have sex,” he explains. “It’s a lot like, actually, real life.”
Reynolds credits the leak of Deadpool test footage last year for convincing the world that a murderous, F-bomb-dropping superhero could find an audience. “That was the biggest game changer for us,” he says of the action sequence, filmed in 2011, that leaked online last July.
Watch the video to hear more from the Deadpool cast, including Reynolds’ reaction when he first saw his superhero suit. (Spoiler alert: He cried.)