In anticipation of its May 10 arrival onto a shelf near you, two of the men who brought you DEADPOOL have been making the rounds talking up the film and the future. Producer Simon Kinberg, who fought to get the film made- and made the right way- and Tim Miller, the rookie director who launched his director with a bonafide smash thanks to DEADPOOL‘s stunning success, fielded several interesting questions in a recent chat with Comic Book Resources.
One of the big topics discussed was what the success of DEADPOOL means to the future of r-rated filmmaking.
KINBERG: “I think it does change the way that studios approach the notion of doing a bigger budgeted R-rated movie, [and] not just in the superhero genre. My hope is that, having grown up on ‘Terminator,’ and ‘Lethal Weapon,’ and ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ and ‘Die Hard’ and the ‘Alien’ movies — like, all my favorite movies growing up, the majority of them are R-rated. So I do think it’s going to change, it’s going to make it a little easier. It won’t take every movie ten years of fight to get green-lit.
In terms of the ‘X-Men’ movies, I think there’s some titles within the ‘X-Men’ universe where it’s appropriate, exactly appropriate, to do R-rated. There’s some titles that actually make more sense as a PG-13. Like, ‘New Mutants’ to me should be a PG-13 movie, and ‘Wolverine’ is something that we’ve always talked about potentially as an R-rated movie. We started talking about, well before ‘Deadpool’ came out, and committed to making the next ‘Wolverine’ R-rated before the success of ‘Deadpool.’ It’s something Hugh Jackman’s always wanted to do, and Jim Mangold wanted to do.
There’s some that want to be PG-13, there’s some that want to be R. It’s just, now we’re in a universe, probably, where we can more easily convinced the studio, or any studio, to go R when the material warrants it.”
It really is incredible what DEADPOOL did when it was in theaters. The $58 million production stands at $361 million domestically- a number that not even BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE has touched in the month since it was released. For a character that’s never been a household name, and has existed a mere 25 years, that’s simply incredible.
Kinberg recalls what the opening weekend was like:
KINGERG: “The whole weekend seems kind of surreal, because the numbers we anticipated — you have tracking, and going into the weekend, we were nervously excited that we would do [well]. My hope really was that we would gross in our opening weekend what our budget was, which was $50-ish million. I think we did that in the first day or thereabouts. Then it just all felt surreal.”
Then the subject of crossovers came up. DEADPOOL made references to Marvel Studios, and even name-dropped BATMAN AND ROBIN from DC. It’s clear that Miller and the writers would love to have all of these characters play within the same sandbox. While the Marvel stuff is the most obvious possibility- even if it’s still a long shot- it’s Miller’s comments about getting DC in on the fun at some point that are really telling.
MILLER: “I’m ready for it, but the studios are not ready for it.”
KINBERG: “We would love it. I mean, Tim and I talked about it quite a bit. We grew up on comics that did it all the time, quite freely. Not just within the Marvel Universe, but outside the Marvel Universe. So it’d be rad to see it. Those decisions are made by people at a much higher part of the food chain than Tim and I — we just go execute it.
But yeah, we would love it, and we certainly each have a really good relationship with Kevin Feige. Maybe one day there’s a sit-down, ‘Godfather’-style dinner where we could broker a deal. It’d be cool.”
MILLER: “I honestly can say, as an adult who works in this industry, you certainly can see all the reasons why it doesn’t happen. The corporate inertia, just the lawyering of that deal alone is so daunting that I don’t think anybody would seriously consider it.
But as a fan, you just want to go, ‘Fuck man! Why can’t I see that?’ Because that’s what I got in comic books. What’s more, they had DC/Marvel crossover events that were just stupendous. On a creative level, you just want to say that comic books is just a huge world. I read Marvel, and I read DC, and I read Image, and I read small independent publishers. I’ve got a ‘Goon‘ comic book from Dark Horse. I love all of that stuff. To me, it’s all one big world.”
Pretty bold of Miller to be putting out into the world that he thinks every comic book property should be able to cross over on the big screen. While he knows it’s unlikely, if not practically impossible, it sounds like he’d love to take a sledgehammer to the crack created by Sony and Marvel’s deal with Spider-Man and smash it wide open.
Do you think it’ll ever happen? Will Warner Bros, Sony, Fox, and Disney all have sit down at the same table one day and figure out a way to open doors between their universes? What would be your dream crossover? Discuss.
Personally, I’d love to see the folks who handle the DC animated films get the rights to produce cartoon features based on the Amalgam Marvel/DC line. I’d kill to see me some Dark Claw or Super Soldier action!