Daddy needs to express some rage.
Deadpool has been getting all sorts of buzz after breaking all kinds of opening weekend records for an R-rated film. The film has been getting fantastic word of mouth for being an original and refreshing take on the superhero genre, as well as being one of the most accurate portrayals of a comic book character that I have ever seen. With a moderately low budget (for a superhero film at least) of 50 million dollars, Deadpool is a box office hit. Surely what studios will take away from this is that R rated films can be successful, and that when creating an adaptation, its always best to stick to the source material, right?
Most studios aren’t interested in that, they won’t see that the reason Deadpool is breaking as many records as it is is because it stayed true to its source material and offered audiences a fairly fresh experience, while just overall being a damn good movie. Unfortunately Hollywood tends to be very reactive. I mean, this is the same industry that will refuse to put the word “Mars” in movie titles due to a few box office bombs, and just look how that turned out. I fear that movie studios will instead think raunchy R-rated superhero movies are the way to make a quick buck, and will try and apply that style to properties in which it just doesn’t fit.
We are already seeing it. It is no coincidence that after Deadpool’s enormous opening weekend, one that is even bigger than all other X-Men films, Todd McFarlane announced that he had finished the script for a new Spawn film and that it would be a “hard r”. Or the fact that reports came out today that Fox is targeting an r rating for their untitled Wolverine film.
Now to be fair, an R rating works for both of these properties as they both have fairly dark and violent subject matter in their comic books. But this is just the beginning, soon enough there will be various “hard r” films announced that will try and chase after Deadpool’s success. And they will fail. The reason Deadpool succeeded is because the filmmakers hearts and souls were poured into this movie, trying to bring the best version of Deadpool possible to the big screen. Not because it was raunchy, not because it was violent, and most certainly not because it was rated R, but because it fit the character.
There is nothing wrong with rating a film r, and there is certainly nothing wrong with making a film raunchy. However the problem arises when Hollywood tries to apply the success of one box office hit to other films where it just doesn’t work. A real case of Maslow’s hammer.
Some films need to be rated R, and some films need to be rated PG-13. There is nothing wrong with either of those ratings, and I would gladly welcome more R rated films. But as long as it fits the film. I mean, would anyone really want to see something like an R rated Teen Titans? I didn’t think so.