ByKat Bacon, writer at
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Kat Bacon

Deadpool: Antihero, mercenary, and catalyst for an all-out war of the ratings!

We're here to get to the bottom of the R vs PG13 controversy, and we've got 2 worthy contenders to convince you of the merits for each side.

  • Kat Morris, Moviepilot's Horror Channel Manager and of Horror Honeys fame will be arguing for the AFFIRMATIVE (R Rating)
  • Erling Rangnes, long time MP contributor & Superheroes aficionado, will argue the NEGATIVE (PG13)

YOUR job is to vote for the most convincing argument. It will be broken into 3 segments, with a poll after each point for you to cast your verdict. The winner at the end will be the one with the most votes in the polls.

Aaaaand.... FIGHT!

KAT MORRIS... you're up!

*Disclaimer*: Since R is the only rating (other than NC-17) that actually prevents someone from being able to get into the theatre, directors and studios will often bend over backwards to get the coveted PG-13 for an adult-themed movie. The reasons are obvious: PG-13 ratings open up the huge 12-16-year old market, and allows them to get into the theatre unhindered.

Action /Violence:

With an R rating, our favorite sword-wielding badass can really put those blades to work and actually do some damage instead of just playing with his prey. Too many comic adaptations have strayed away from the violence of the comics in favor of heroes who don't actually kill anyone unless they HAVE to, which isn't what the comics were about. Deadpool is an anti-hero, just like Wolverine and deserves that freedom.


Deadpool wants an audience:

In the movie year 2012, six of the top 10 highest grossing movies list were rated PG13. Three of these were superhero movies, one was a James Bond-movie, and the remaining two were Twilight and Hunger Games. Despite a massive increase in R-rated Hollywood movies that year, Ted was the only 'R' representative on this list. A PG-13 rating means more potential moviegoers. More potential moviegoers mean more potential money. And nothing opens movie execs pockets like a potentially huge payday. PG-13 is where the moneys at, and if we want the big budget solo feature Deadpool-movie Wade Wilson deserves, that’s where we want his rating to land. Give the man the means to show how incredibly spectacular he can be. Give him stunts, sets, exotic props, explosions and expensive things to destroy while he’s singing Mary Had a Little Lamb as a duet with the voices in his head (or really any kind of song they can pay handsomely for the rights to use with the added budget a PG13-rating could give)



ROUND 1: Who was more convincing?


Artistic License:

“It’s a total reboot…But it’s an R script, it’s really irreverent and violent. Right away, we’re out of the X-Men world.”

From the mouths of babes (producer Lauren Shuler-Donner) Moving Deadpool away from the watered down commercial pablum of the X-Men universe will go a long way to restoring what truly made the comics such a fan favorite.


Deadpool wouldn’t be the first PG-13 psycho killer with a high kill count

Remember Heath Ledgers Joker from the Dark Knight? The guy who operated explosives into his followers and sent them to Gotham PD, got every member of his bank-robbing crew to kill each other, did a magic trick involving a flunkie and a pencil, set up a big psychological battle between a boatfull of cons and regular Joes, and turned a popular lawyer into the villain Two-Face by searing of half his mug and giving a speech about how chaos is fair where the law isn’t? Yeah. That movie was PG-13. Every movie in the triology was PG-13. As was Man of Steel, Thor: the Dark World, the Star Trek reboot, the Avengers, Captain America: the Winter Soldier and a whole bunch of other movies with violent thugs beating the crap out of each other without any consideration for the innocents around them. As far as violence is concerned, the MPAA has turned into a joke! Thankfully, one that could serve a Deadpool movie well in many interesting ways. A Deadpool movie would get away with just about anything without raising an eyebrow, so long as they didn’t do the inconceivable and show a boob or use a common swear word.


ROUND 2: Whose Side Are You On?


The Obvious:

What good is the "Merc with a Mouth" if he has no teeth? Deadpool's character is self aware, he knows he's in a comic, he'll know that he's in a movie...why mess with the character? Making Deadpool PG-13 will not only limit what can be done with the storyline, but also limit the flexibility of Deadpool himself. It's not just about swearing and boobie grabbing. Marvel needs a wildcard, and it's not going to be Gambit.


Deadpool doesn’t need an R-rating to be awesome

To get an R-rating for violence, it would require “rough and persistent violence” as opposed to the “stronger than mild” violence of the PG-13. With the Dark Knight still in mind, I’d say that particular line has been stretched, bent or otherwise shaped in a way that this particular requirement shouldn’t be too hard to bypass. Especially if they make it so that Deadpool, and the audience, gives more attention to the voices in his head than the people he’s already killed. That way, even the queasy amongst MPAA officials won’t be able to justify an R-rating. In fact, why not make a point of having a fourth wall breaking character like Deadpool comment on MPAAs stance on PG-13 violence? It would be both hilarious, and in character! As far as language is concerned, Deadpool doesn’t care about the usual “bad words”. He makes up his own in the comics, and they’re off-beat and hilarious enough to merit a silverscreen debut. Lastly, on sexuality, a PG-13 rating allows for a brief look at full frontal non-sexual nudity. Anyone who has seen Deadpool out of costume can attest to this: If we ever see Deadpool naked in the movie, sex will be the furthest thing from our minds.



ROUND 3: Are you Convinced?

Did you have your mind changed? Let us know in the comments below! Try to keep it PG, whatever that means!

Not yet a contributor? Join us here for a piece of the debate pie.


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