With the success of both Deadpool and Logan, 20th Century Fox has found a way to effectively differentiate itself from the other members of the superhero studio trifecta. Disney releases superhero films with broad appeal and a bright aesthetic; 20th Century Fox aims for more mature themes and isn’t afraid to incorporate both violence and profanity into its projects; Warner Bros…. well, they’re working on this, and when they figure out, it’s gonna be yuuuge. You’ll see.

Of course, any comic book fan worth her salt knows that the success of Deadpool and Logan wasn’t just because those were the movies with all the swears. Ryan Reynolds threw himself into the promotion and marketing of Deadpool with a nearly reckless abandon; similarly, Hugh Jackman wasn’t shy about making his Wolverine retirement the focus of Logan. In a recent interview with ComingSoon.net, Deadpool screenwriter Rhett Reese explained why Deadpool’s rating is often the biggest misconception about its success:

Well I think a lot of people just felt like the R-rating had everything to do with it. While I agree to a certain extent, I personally feel like a PG-13 Deadpool still would have succeeded because I think it’s more about the character. You can’t just slap an R-rating on something and have it be good. That’s definitely one element of a lot of other elements. I think people are attributing a little too much to that. That said, having the ability to break those rules with an R-rating did help us.

As someone who grew up with an unhealthy addiction to Last Action Hero  —  I had the action figures and everything!  —  I think Reese is spot-on. Despite a PG-13 rating, John McTiernan’s film was packed with violence, soft profanity, and more movie references than you could hope to shake a stick at. Had 20th Century Fox told Reynolds and company that Deadpool needed to come in at a PG-13 rating, there’s no doubt in my mind that they could have delivered the comic book equivalent of Last Action Hero without any of the swears or CGI blood and not suffered at all. Whatever the studio decides to do with the future of their Marvel properties, here’s hoping they remember that an R-rating is the garnish, not the entire meal.

Production on Deadpool 2 is now underway, so be sure to keep an eye on our archives for the latest movie news and rumors.

More From AM 1490 WDBQ