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Deadpool 2 director says Deadpool 3 could clean things up enough for PG-13 rating

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Aug 6, 2019, 2:17 PM EDT

Deadpool 3 hasn’t been announced yet, and so far as we know, the inevitable next installment in the superhero series that Ryan Reynolds seems born to play doesn’t have a director. But when Deadpool does make his first proper appearance in his new, Disney-owned digs, the director of the last film believes it’s possible the mouthy merc might be swearing a little less.

Deadpool 2 director David Leitch, who seems well plugged in to the delicate effort to merge Deadpool’s style of silly raunch with Disney’s more mainstream, family-friendly appeal, told Yahoo Movies UK recently that making the sass-mouthed antihero into a well-behaved MCU houseguest comes with challenges — and that he wouldn’t be surprised if the next film tightens up all the R-rated trash talk.

“It's rated R, so that's not necessarily the [MCU] brand,” Leitch said, “but he doesn't necessarily need to be R, and [Disney] don't necessarily need to only make PG-13 movies. I think we'll find a happy ground.

“There's a lot of mystery still surrounding what they want to do with Deadpool in [Disney’s] Marvel world, but I think, from discussions that I've heard, it's all positive,” he added. “I think that they're just trying to figure a way in as Deadpool's hard.”

R rating or not, Deadpool is a tremendous box-office draw with Reynolds in the role. The second and first movies, respectively, occupy the Nos. 1 and 2 spots on the all-time list of highest-grossing R-rated movies worldwide, just ahead of a pair of other successful genre films: The Matrix Reloaded comes in at No. 3, with It close behind at No. 4.

That means it’s certain that Disney has plans for Deadpool, with chairman Alan Horn assuring Cinemacon fans earlier this year that they’ll “be seeing more of Deadpool in the years to come.” And CEO Bob Iger said as recently as February that he can envision keeping things R-rated, explaining that “there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what's coming, we think we can manage that fine.”

Leitch’s more recent remarks suggest, though, that Disney may still view Deadpool as a tough character to integrate into the MCU — though he added that he’d love to direct another installment, regardless of rating. He even has an idea for how to tie Reynolds’ katana-wielding character into Marvel's Phase 4: Bring Mahershala Ali in for a Blade crossover ... because, y’know, they “both are swordsmen.”

Leitch is just coming off a directing turn for Hobbs & Shaw, which raced straight to the front of the box-office pack in its opening weekend. SYFY WIRE recently caught up with Leitch, where he filled us in on one of the movie's most elaborate stunts (in an action flick that's full of them). Check out our interview with Leitch about the bananas Hobbs & Shaw finale here.