SALT LAKE CITY — Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox may mean more R-rated superhero movies in the future.
Concerns from some fans arose on social media about the future of “Deadpool,” an R-rated 21st Century Fox superhero film that will now be under the Disney brand thanks to Disney's multibillion-dollar purchase of 21st Century Fox studios on Thursday.
But that concern may be unnecessary. Disney CEO Bob Iger said to the media on Thursday that the future of Marvel movies may include R-rated films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“('Deadpool') clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like 'Deadpool,'” Iger said. “As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
This will be a change of pace from Disney’s current lineup of superhero films, which hover around the PG-13 rating and are often targeted toward families.
However, merging Fox superheroes with the current Marvel heroes may not work for Disney, the entertainment website Collider wrote.
“But if Disney/Marvel Studios wants to combine the characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that may pose a serious problem — consistency of tone is everything, and one imagines if Disney has invested so much money into building the Marvel Studios brand as something kids can enjoy, adding 'Deadpool' to the mix muddles the waters and threatens to turn consumers off the brand entirely — again, this is about more than movies, it’s about merchandising, TV spinoffs, etc,” according to Collider.
But Disney does have a history with R-rated movies, according to the Deseret News, as it has distributed such films through the American film distribution label Touchstone Pictures since 1986.
Not to mention the Marvel Studios brand released mature superhero television shows on Netflix, such as “The Punisher,” “Luke Cage” and “Jessica Jones.”
Disney will ultimately make its decision based on how it wants to be branded, Collider reported. How to incorporate fictional characters into a series is a secondary concern.
Disney’s purchase of Fox has raised several concerns outside of the fictional realm. The $52.4 billion deal — though cool for most comic book fans and superhero nerds — raises concerns about an entertainment monopoly.
As Forbes writer Scott Mendelson explained, Disney taking ownership of Fox’s Hollywood studios offers fewer opportunities for artists and moviemakers, leading to less diverse content.
“Fewer major studios mean fewer places for artists to pitch their work, and thus potentially a less diverse slate of movies and television shows,” Mendelson wrote. “Less competition could also drive down compensation for said artists, and Disney would be powerful enough to (if it chose to) essentially set the status quo for compensation for the next round of union negotiations.”
Mendelson said Disney could also corner the box office market with this move, benefiting from the gritty Fox films while also maintaining its own brand.2 comments on this story
Ultimately, he wrote, Disney has slowly begun to capture more of the entertainment market, raising concern about what will happen next.
“It is … disconcerting to see how much of the talk concerning this merger has been focused entirely on the notion of Deadpool hanging out with Thor,” he wrote. “This is a game-changing shift in the entertainment industry, one that cements Walt Disney as an ultimate power in the world of TV and film while potentially allowing Fox News to become even more of a dominant player in media.”