The Odd Futility of ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’

Fox pulled a bit of a surprise out of the bag when they announced in September that there would be an ‘Untitled Deadpool Movie’ released in December 2018, just 7 months after the success of ‘Deadpool 2’.

It transpired that this shock mystery release is a new ‘family friendly’ edit of ‘Deadpool 2’, with about 20 minutes of added scenes. Shamelessly edited to obtain a franchise-low rating of PG-13 in the U.S. so it can capitalize on a slightly younger audience that hadn’t previously been able to see it in theaters. With needed cuts that all-important target was obtained.

However, here in the U.K. both ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Deadpool 2’ were rated 15 (for clarity here that means nobody under 15 will be admitted regardless of if they have an older guardian accompanying them). Therefore the nearest equivalent rating here in the U.K. would be a 12A, which allows 12’s and above to see it unaccompanied, while under 12’s can also see the movie if accompanied by an adult.

The ‘family friendly’ re-edit ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’ has been given its U.K. rating by the BBFC and it’s… a 15!

That means with all the edits, cutting out enough to placate the U.S. rating board the MPAA, they’ve not changed it in any meaningful way in the eyes of the BBFC.

There’s a clear and simple reason for this. Though the marketing has said that no ‘Fs’ will be given in ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’, meaning we know that the most offensive language has been removed, this was never the biggest hurdle for it’s U.K. classification.

Violence seems to be the most obvious explanation. U.S. audiences are far less concerned by that in their PG-13 movies than U.K. audiences are. So while the re-edited movie may be less rude and crude than before, it’s no less violent, something we care about on this side of the pond, especially when it comes to what children see.

I am fascinated by what Fox has done here, making two edits of a film to capitalize on a larger audience, and while others may hate it (especially when it comes to a character like Deadpool), I’d not be against having an option of edits for some films, especially in this genre I’m so fond of. Whether this is a one-off oddity or a new trend will largely depend on box-office success, something that will be clear in a few days time once the numbers for the U.K. and U.S. are released. 

I do think it will be a success in the U.S. and I think it will have a little success in the U.K. with fans who saw ‘Deadpool 2’ and now want to see the 20 minutes of new footage and are interested to see what else has changed. If the violence had been largely cut, I think we would be looking at a far larger success story on this side of the Atlantic as teens want something to go see with their friends as they enter the school holidays. 

Nevertheless, if it is to become a new technique used by studios to widen their audience, they might want to refine it a little, taking into consideration some international variations that would make a huge difference in overseas markets. All the work of re-editing and drastically changing a film to theatrically release it for a younger audience, seems like a lot of work for a limited reward if it only makes a discernable difference to the American theatres. 


Mid-Week Musings: My thoughts on the Oscar nominees for 2018!

Firstly, a brief note: I usually do my ‘Oscars Challenge’ at this time of year, aiming to get through as many nominees as possible before the awards are given out. However, this year I have booked a holiday in prime award season. So, with that increased level of busy holiday planning and actually going away, I doubt I’ll get through very many nominees this year, but I have been stockpiling a few reviews and will release them daily from February 1st onwards! You can download our OSCAR 2018 BALLOT SHEET here and our OSCAR 2018 WATCHLIST here to have a go at watching and predicting this year’s nominated films!

A few months ago I took a stab at predicting what would be nominated for Oscars which you can look at in full here. As the nominations were announced yesterday, I can now see how near or far off I was with my thoughts and maybe give a few thoughts on the films that did and didn’t get nominated in the end.

I’m really pleased to see that though some films didn’t make my list, I was largely right about what would and wouldn’t get nominated and why, so my finger isn’t too far from the pulse.

Where I was right:

My thoughts on comic book movies chances proved largely accurate. ‘Logan’ got nominated but not for lots nor in the very biggest of categories, just the single nod for adapted screenplay. It’s a shame that Patrick Stewart didn’t get nominated for his performance but it was a long shot. ‘Wonder Woman’ didn’t manage to get any nominations at all, though ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’ did get nominated for visual effects which I said was likely.

‘The Shape of Water’ is not only nominated but more so than any other film this year and definitely a frontrunner in some categories. I thought it might do well, Guillermo del Toro is a fascinating filmmaker who occasionally manages to catch the attention of the Academy. With his excellent cast, this is one of the films I am most interested in seeing.

‘Blade Runner 2049’ did get nominated as I predicted it would, though not for the Best Picture award. It was the beautiful re-creation of Ridley Scott’s vision of the future that was inescapably deserving of plaudits, getting Roger Deakins his 14th cinematography nomination and hopefully this time his first win.

Also, I was sure there would be some nominations for ‘Dunkirk’ and indeed there are with 8 including Best Picture. I’ve heard a lot of disparity between each side of the Atlantic as to how well it has been received, with a far more muted response in the States, leading me to think it’s going to do very well at the BAFTAs though may only walk away with one or two Oscars.

Though the title changed after I made my predictions, Steven Spielberg was indeed on course to make an Oscar-worthy film, so it’s no surprise that ‘The Post’ (formerly ‘The Papers’) has a couple of nominations for Best Picture and Meryl Streep. Aaron Sorkin also didn’t surprise anyone by writing a nominated adapted screenplay for ‘Molly’s Game’, that’s his forte.

The other non-surprises are ‘War For the Planet of the Apes’ getting nominated for the visual effects, they have progressively been getting better and better through the trilogy. Also, ‘Coco’ and ‘Lou’ getting nominated in their categories was a foregone conclusion.

Where I was wrong:

There were no nominations for the much-maligned ‘mother!’. I did say it would grab attention, however, it wasn’t for the right reasons, the majority of people hated it apparently. Nor was there any love for ‘Wind River’ which I’ve heard excellent things about though only from film criticism sources as it seems to have gone unnoticed by everyone else.

What escaped my notice:

‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ had not been on my radar at all, even if I had seen trailers for them I’m not sure what I would have predicted, though both Saoirse Ronan and Woody Harrelson are actors I know can be counted on for excellent performances so I should have looked deeper at the possibilities and foreseen their films doing well.

As is the case each year there are so-called ‘snubs’ and omissions in the final shortlist of nominees but really I don’t think this is a bad year, the Academy seem to have nominated a lot of films that are widely-regarded as the best in their respective categories. There are also women nominated in directing and for the first time ever in cinematography which feels more timely than ever before given the events in Hollywood this past year and will hopefully inspire more women to take these prominent roles in productions. On that point, it’s worth reading up on Dee Rees the director of ‘Mudbound’ and how she aimed to give jobs to talented and skilled women in key roles, which clearly paid off.

I’m looking forward to watching the ceremony in full as soon as I get home from my holiday, I want to save some of the surprises until I can watch the awards being given out properly. Let’s just hope that the accountants this year are more careful with their envelopes!

Don’t forget, you can download our OSCAR 2018 BALLOT SHEET here and our OSCAR 2018 WATCHLIST here to have a go at watching and predicting this year’s nominated films!