This morning, it was officially announced that The Walt Disney Company would be acquiring the assets of 20th Century Fox, which would bring the feature film rights for the X-Men and Fantastic Four back to Marvel Studios. This has left many fans wondering what that means for the future of adult-oriented movies from the franchise like Deadpool.
CEO Bob Iger was asked today about their plans for the likes of these films and said there may be potential for them to continue at Disney despite the fact that the studio isn’t typically in the business of producing R-rated movies.
“It (Deadpool) clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool, as long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine,” he said.
Walt Disney Pictures has previously distributed several R-rated films through their Touchstone Pictures banner, which they have been slowly phasing out, but none of them were productions of Disney. The last time the studio actually produced an R-rated film was 2006’s Apocalypto.
The first Deadpool film was released in February of 2016 and went on to gross over $780 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing X-Men movie of all time (also outgrossing ten of Marvel Studios’ own feature films). Deadpool 2 is currently set for release on June 1, 2018, with a third film and an X-Force spin-off in development at Fox as well. Their status for the future is unclear, as it remains to be seen how Marvel Studios will handle the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties when the Disney/Fox deal finally closes (which may not be until June of 2018). It is unlikely that the continuity of the X-Men movies will remain intact; however, if there was a character capable of making the leap from one major studio’s franchise and into another’s, it would be the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool, who would likely take shots at the studios as he did in his first film.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige previously wouldn’t rule out the idea of R-rated movies from Marvel Studios earlier this summer, saying they were “not out of the question, but not something we’re working on right now.” Now that Marvel’s first family and the “children of the atom” have returned to the house of ideas, that possibility could become a reality.