ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, with 's runaway success back in 2016 having caught many commentators off guard, the past year has seen a whole lot of debate over precisely why it made as much money as it did (all, of course, with the intention of finding a way to replicate said reason). Was it the film's sense of humor, for instance, or simply star 's obvious affinity for the lead role? Was the world simply crying out for so dramatically different a character as Deadpool, after years of more obviously formula-driven superhero films growing ever more indistinct from one another? Or, as many fans suggested, was it simply a case of audiences desperately wanting to see an R-rated superhero movie, and 's Deadpool being the first mainstream option that came along?

Well, according to Deadpool's own writing team, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, it wasn't the latter (or, at least, not entirely), with the duo arguing recently that:

'Deadpool' Didn't Need Its R-Rating To Succeed

'Deadpool' [Credit: Fox]
'Deadpool' [Credit: Fox]

Instead, as Reese argued in a recent interview with Coming Soon, the film's success may well have been a far more complicated — and thus less straightforwardly replicable — thing. As he put it, when asked about the misconceptions surrounding the film's gigantic box office haul:

"Well I think a lot of people just felt like the R rating had everything to do with it. While I agree to a certain extent, I personally feel like a PG-13 'Deadpool' still would have succeeded, because I think it’s more about the character. You can’t just slap an R rating on something and have it be good. That’s definitely one element of a lot of other elements. I think people are attributing a little too much to that. That said, having the ability to break those rules with an R rating did help us."

In other words? According to Reese, the R-rating may have helped Deadpool along at the box office (the press attention it received as a result surely helped raise its profile, for one thing), but it wasn't the core reason for its success. Which, with the film's inspired social media campaign and Reynolds's central performance being widely praised, and Deadpool's peculiar blend of meta enthusiasm appearing to catch a cultural nerve, seems an entirely reasonable analysis.

Whether that will do anything to halt the inevitable onslaught of arbitrarily R-rated movies in the near future, of course, very much remains to be seen.

What do you think, though? Why do you think Deadpool was so successful? Let us know below!

(Sources: ComingSoon)


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