Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld has expressed his support for the Disney/Fox deal. Liefeld has always been confident that the Merc With A Mouth is box office gold. He was proven right last year, when Deadpool grossed over $783 million on a budget of just $58 million. Understandably, the writer-artist has been watching the Disney/Fox deal with real concern.
In early November, Liefeld responded to rumors of the Disney/Fox deal on social media, urging Fox to hold off on the deal until after Deadpool 2‘s box office success. However, with the Disney/Fox deal finalized, Deadpool’s creator has responded to the news.
Comic Book reached out to Liefeld for a comment on the deal and it appears the latest reports have calmed the writer-artist’s fears. In response to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s comment that future Deadpool sequels would remain R-rated, Liefeld said:
“Bob Iger didn’t deliver this unprecedented level of historic success for Disney by accident. This man gets it. He understands the culture and more importantly he understands the concerns of the fans. Addressing the Deadpool issue right out the gate gets high marks and in all honesty, why would they mess with the success that Ryan Reynolds has achieved as Deadpool?
The next person I encounter that tells me they want a neutered version of Ryan’s Deadpool will be the first person to express that to me. So smart of Iger to lay that foundation of trust and I for one am so appreciative. It definitely alleviated a concerned Deadpool base.”
Disney’s Fox purchase had initially left Deadpool fans deeply concerned. The House of Mouse isn’t typically associated with R-rated fare, and the MCU is well-known for being PG-13. Fans feared that Deadpool would be, in Liefeld’s words, “neutered.” They worried that future movies would tame Deadpool, creating a child-friendly version who could crossover with the Avengers. Iger swiftly reassured fans that he saw no reason there couldn’t be further R-rated Marvel movies. He went on to make specific mention of potential Deadpool sequels.
Liefeld has always insisted that the R rating was a big part of Deadpool‘s success. That’s not necessarily a view shared by Marvel insiders, with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn arguing that the true reason for Deadpool’s box office triumph was its experimental nature. In the wake of the Disney/Fox deal, Gunn was happy to echo Iger’s promise.
Yes, to answer all your panicked tweets at me this morning, Deadpool will stay R-rated. http://t.co/sCChsijhVx
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 14, 2017
Gunn’s statement is an important one. The success of the Guardians of the Galaxy films have made him a key player in Marvel Studios. He’s considered one of the architects of Marvel’s future, and will no doubt be a key voice in determining Marvel’s direction with their new franchises. Liefeld can breathe easily, with reassurances from both Iger and Gunn.
As Liefeld notes, the decision to keep the R-rating was probably something of a no-brainer for Disney. The House of Mouse will be determined to make the most of their $52 billion purchase of Fox. They won’t want to risk damaging a popular, flourishing franchise. Clearly Disney’s statements haven’t just reassured the fans, they’ve also reassured Deadpool‘s creator.
Source: Comic Book