R-rated smart-mouth hero could be Marvel’s next leading man

Conrad thinks a PG-13 version of the character is possible and pointed to the comics as his evidence. The traditional Deadpool comic version isn’t R-rated and the character has only dabbled in the mature, adulterated “Marvel Max” line, similar to other Marvel characters. These characters include “Black Widow” and “Thor,” which have become household names in recent years.

Scarlett Johansson, after six performance as “Black Widow,” will finally be getting her own PG-13 movie in Marvel’s phase 4 slot of films. And Chris Hemsworth, as Thor, has already had a PG-13 trilogy playing.

“Thor Ragnarok” grossed over $853 million worldwide in 2017, according to Box Office Mojo.

Another big name Fox property, “Wolverine,” has also seen both PG-13 and R-rated movies starring Hugh Jackman as the mutant with claws.

“I think the way to do it is when Deadpool is crossing over with traditional PG-13 characters, he’s PG-13 like he is in the comics,” Conrad said. “Then when Deadpool is on his own in a solo movie, they can be free to go R-rated.”

“They did do a Christmas Deadpool movie,” said Karie Bible, an analyst for Exhibitor Relations. Bible was referring to “Once Upon a Deadpool,” which is an alternate version of “Deadpool 2” that is suited for a PG-13 audience. It was in theaters from last December to January and grossed a little over $6.1 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Robbins said Marvel has a full slate of post “Endgame” heroes lined up for future film projects.

“They still have Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and other future characters waiting in the wings,” Robbins said.

“He [Reynolds] has enough talent and fan base. However, there is not one marquee face in the MCU. There are many faces,” Bible said. “In today’s world, concept tops star power. … Zachary Levi is not in the Tom Cruise category but ‘Shazam!’ had a great opening weekend.”

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