After Deadpool broke R-rated box office records last year for 20th Century Fox, fans started wondering if Marvel and Disney would explore these types of stories, since all of the MCU movies, from 2008's Iron Man to next month's Spider-Man: Homecoming and beyond, have been PG-13. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated in April that the biggest takeaway from the success of R-rated superhero movies like Deadpool and this year's Logan is that they took risks with the material, not just that it was R-rated. At the time, the studio president said that there were no plans for a Marvel R-rated ,but it seems his stance may have softened a bit. Here's what Kevin Feige had to say during a Facebook Live interview earlier today.
"Not currently planning (R-rated movies), no, but it's not out of the question. When I started at Marvel 17 years ago, the Blade franchise was doing very well. A lot of people didn't even know it was based on a Marvel character, because at the time, they sort of hid the fact that it was a Marvel character. So, not out of the question, but not something we're working on right now."
The producer and studio head's statement to Allocine is by no means a definitive one, but at least now there may be some consideration towards an R-rated Marvel movie. Back in March 2016, while 20th Century Fox's Deadpool ($363 million domestic, $783.1 million worldwide, $58 million budget) was still raking in the big bucks in theaters, Bob Iger, CEO of Marvel's parent company Disney, said that the studio has "no plans" to make R-rated Marvel movies. It's possible that the success of Deadpool may have been considered to be a fluke, but after the success of Logan ($226.2 million domestic, $615.5 million worldwide, $97 million budget), Marvel may have re-considered their stance on the subject.
It's interesting that Kevin Feige brings up Blade, since that is one of the few properties Marvel hasn't done anything with, since the studio re-acquired the rights four years ago. Over the span of a few weeks in the spring of 2013, Marvel re-acquired the rights to Blade, Ghost Rider, Daredevil and The Punisher. Since then, the studio has launched a Daredevil TV series on Netflix, with The Punisher spin-off also coming soon. Last fall, the studio brought over Ghost Rider to the ABC TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and, as of now, Blade is the only property that hasn't been resurrected since Marvel got the rights back.
With Marvel's Phase 3 slate already planned out, coming to a close with Avengers 4 in May 2019, it's possible that Marvel Phase 4 could bring the first R-rated MCU movie. The studio is already planning out their slate, with Kevin Feige previously confirming that the titles alone for the MCU Phase 4 movies would be huge spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. Still, it's possible that Marvel may find a way to bring an R-rated hero like Blade or any other unconventional hero into the MCU when Phase 4 kicks off in 2020.