Believe it or not, it sounds like Deadpool 2 is getting a PG-13 release later this year called The Deadpool Before Christmas. Fox scored a home run earlier this summer with the highly-anticipated sequel and it looks like they're doing just about anything they can to squeeze everything out of that cash cow while they still can. That's apparently going to involve them somehow getting the movie down from its very R-rated cut to a PG-13 version, which could allow younger viewers to see it who may not have had the chance to previously.
According to a new report, the studio is indeed planning to release a PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2 in theaters this December. This comes as the studio has done some major shifting with their release calendar. Alita: Battle Angel had previously been set for release on December 21, but that's been shifted to February 14, 2019, which was when Dark Phoenix was supposed to arrive. But that next X-Men adventure has now been bumped once more to June 7, 2019, the date previously held for the long-gestating Gambit, which will now (hopefully) arrive on March 13, 2020. Don't hold your breath on that one though.
That December 21 date is downright crowded. Warner Bros. is releasing Aquaman on that date, with Paramount also set to drop Bumblebee. There's also the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly comedy Holmes and Watson, as well as Robert Zemeckis' Welcome to Marwen. Alita: Battle Angel, which comes with a hefty price tag, seemed doomed to fail on that date. A PG-13 cut of Deadpool 2, on the other hand, literally can't fail.
The business behind this decision seems to make sense. Deadpool 2 made $734 million at the box office during its initial theatrical run. That trails only Days of Future Past and the first Deadpool in terms of the X-Men franchise. But the R-rating, even if it does seem downright essential to the character and the material, does prevent certain viewers from accessing it. If they can find a way to tone it down and get the MPAA to give a new cut of the movie a PG-13, what does Fox have to lose? Any money they could stand to make at this point would be instant profit and a cherry on top of an already very profitable sundae.
Ironically, the fear when the first Deadpool was first announced was that the studio would chicken out and go for a PG-13 rating, similar to what Sony has done with Venom. Unfortunately, at the present time, details regarding the release are scarce. But expect Fox to make an official announcement soon. If we're lucky, Ryan Reynolds will be back at with some very clever and entertaining marketing. Morbid curiosity may be enough to get certain fans to show up just to see what a (relatively) clean Deadpool movie looks like. And that is probably exactly what Fox is thinking right now. This news was first reported by Deadline.