2018 has already been a huge year for superhero movies, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2, just to name a few. But the year’s not over yet. These final weeks of December brings us even more: Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and – hold on, another Deadpool movie‽ Yes, we’re getting another theatrical release of Deadpool 2. This time around, the retelling of this tale is titled Once Upon a Deadpool.
Is this an entirely new movie? Why is Fox releasing two Deadpool movies in 2018? And how in the hell did Ryan Reynolds find the time to film this? Let’s get started with answering all these questions and more.
What is Once Upon a Deadpool?
Once Upon a Deadpool is basically a holiday release of Deadpool 2, sprinkled with more meta, a new character, and lots of ADR work. Oh right, there’s one more big change, it’s rated PG-13! That means less sexually explicit content and less gore/violence, in an effort to reach a broader audience. Now, that’s not to say it’ll be completely neutered. After all, Venom was also PG-13, and the main character wanted to, and occasionally did, eat people’s brains. In my opinion, Once Upon a Deadpool has got to be the closest you can possibly cut the line between PG-13 and R.
That’s it? It’s just a straight-up, censored version of Deadpool 2?
Not exactly, no. So, Fox has been trying to get a more marketable (PG-13) Deadpool ever since Ryan Reynolds got his respectably chiseled arms around this project. Reynolds has said no to a PG-13 version time and time again, until now. Reynolds told Deadline this.
I’ve said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said yes on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining.
Fred Savage’s appearance is absolutely an homage to the way The Princess Bride unfolds, where Peter Falk reads the eponymous story to, a then much younger, Savage. Of course, it’s nowhere near as wholesome because it quickly comes out that Savage is not there of his own volition. He’s been kidnapped by this twisted version’s Peter Falk, Deadpool, and taped to a bed, in a recreated bedroom from The Princess Bride.
Should I watch this if I’ve already seen Deadpool 2?
Short answer: F*** yes! (Hey, will you look at that? This review is PG-13 too.) I encourage anyone reading this to go see Once Upon a Deadpool. Why? I have a multi-tiered answer for you. First, it’s only in theaters through Christmas Eve. So, it’s a super limited release. Second, it’s better than most of your choices with what’s currently in theaters. Third, as if those two reasons aren’t enough, Fox announced that they will be donating 1 dollar of every ticket sold for this movie to the Fuck Cancer foundation, which recently changed its name to Fudge Cancer to be more PG-13 friendly, just like Once Upon a Deadpool. And finally, if you don’t care about any of this other stuff, go see this movie for the Stan Lee tributes. This is the first Marvel movie released after Lee’s passing, and it gives a very heartfelt thank you to him, in the final after credits scene, which will make you tear up. So, be prepared for that. There’s also at least 1 other quick tribute during the film, but the after credits one is the one that got me misty eyed.