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Marvel's New Superhero Movie 'Deadpool' Receives R Rating

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

If you've been keeping up with the latest offerings from Hollywood, you have probably seen a commercial for the movie "Deadpool." And if you haven't...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DEADPOOL")

RYAN REYNOLDS: (As Deadpool) Oh, hello. You're probably thinking, my boyfriend said this was a superhero movie. Well, surprise, this is actually - lucky you - a love story.

KELLY: "Deadpool" is the latest film in the Marvel comics' "X-Men" franchise. It's the story of former Special Forces operative-turned-mercenary Wade Wilson, who is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with extraordinary superpowers. But if the plot line sounds familiar, "Deadpool" actually feels quite different. It is unspeakably violent and foulmouthed - so much so that it's been given an R rating. Well, here to talk about "Deadpool" Crystal Bell. She is a pop-culture writer for MTV News. Hi, Crystal.

CRYSTAL BELL: Hi.

KELLY: So let's start out by acknowledging that this is huge year for comic book movies. Sixty-three are set for release this year. That number is staggering to me. How different is "Deadpool" from the rest of them?

BELL: Oh, it's so different. And I am so glad that this movie is happening right now because it couldn't come at a better time. I think "Deadpool" is not nihilistic. Yes, it's violent, but it's not super dark.

KELLY: People are already starting to get a sense of why this film has earned an R rating. And I guess that raises for me the question - does it risk shutting out a good part of its core market. I mean, teenagers are not going to be able to see this movie.

BELL: I think Fox is very smart with the way that they've marketed it. I think that they're trying to reach an older audience. They're really trying to capture that 18 to 34 market. I don't think that it's going to hinder their box office performance. They are looking at a debut that's 60 to 65 million. For an R-rated superhero film that had a $58 million budget, that's huge.

KELLY: You know, I saw one review that calls "Deadpool," and I'm quoting here, "basically a 108-minute inside joke about the cliches of the superhero franchise," which raises the question - for people who haven't seen every superhero film and haven't read all the comics, are they going to get the jokes?

BELL: Oh, I think they will because the reason that "Deadpool" is so refreshing to me is because we have only experienced sort of the superheroes that are so common in our culture. You know, we've had how many Batman movies? Why are studios telling the same stories over and over again when they can do something that's way more refreshing, like "Deadpool." If anything, "Deadpool" really sets the precedence for that. Let's experiment. Let's try something different. Let's not do a fourth, a fifth "Spiderman."

KELLY: Maybe an R-rated one - maybe that's what we're in store for next.

BELL: Oh yeah, maybe - maybe Peter Parker at the club.

KELLY: (Laughter) I'm laughing out loud, and that is one thing that all the reviews are saying, is that this movie - whether you like superhero comic flicks or not - that it's funny. There's one scene where the superhero's getting out of his car, and there are a dozen heavily-armed gangsters facing him down. Let's hear that clip.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DEADPOOL")

REYNOLDS: (As Deadpool) Wait. You may be wondering, why the red suit? Well, that's so bad guys can't see me bleed. This guy's got the right idea. He wore the brown pants.

KELLY: OK, so the film, obviously going for laughs, is also violent. We've talk about how it's aimed at adults, but with completely juvenile humor. Is it trying to be too many things to too many people?

BELL: I think it's being exactly what is. And I think, again, if you know or are familiar with "Deadpool," that's exactly what you expect. He's sort of this maniacal figure. I think you're going to enjoy "Deadpool" for what it is. It's a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. And that's what this genre needs more than anything.

KELLY: Well, Crystal Bell, thanks for stopping by.

BELL: Thank you so much.

KELLY: Crystal Bell, pop-culture writer for MTV News, talking about the new "X-Men" movie "Deadpool." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.