It was officially announced earlier today that The Walt Disney Company has reached a deal with 21st Century Fox to acquire its movie and TV properties, which – as the official press release stated – “provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
While this is of course music to the ears of fans who have longed for a fully-fledged Marvel universe with all of the characters under the same roof, it did immediately raise questions about whether Disney would follow Fox’s successful formula of R-rated superhero movies, with fears that the likes of Deadpool would be “watered down” to PG-13 to fit with the established Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Well, it seems that may not be the case after all, as Disney’s Bob Iger has stated that: “[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.”
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has previously suggested that while the studio has no plans for R-rated movies, it was not being ruled out entirely. The TV side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has of course ventured into that territory with the likes of the Netflix series, so it certainly wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine some kind of ‘Marvel Knights’-branded series of R-rated movies within the MCU.
At this point, we have no idea as to what Marvel will be planning for its newly-reacquired properties, and if and how these will be integrated into the MCU. While the smart money would be on Marvel rebooting the characters, it’s also possible that franchises such as Deadpool could continue as standalone features, particularly if the upcoming sequel proves to be as big of a hit as its predecessor. Let us know what you’d like to see in the comments below…