The usual route most movies go with cuts is to start with a PG-13 version, get as wide of an audience as you can, and then release an edgier R or unrated cut to appeal to the hardcore fans who want even more stuff afterwards. Deadpool 2 did the opposite. They had an edgy R-rated theatrical cut, and now they’re coming out with the safer PG-13 version, which will play in theaters this December.
The PG-13 Deadpool 2 isn’t just the same movie as before with fewer dirty jokes and less blood, though. As screenwriter Paul Wernick explained to /Film, there’s new stuff in this cut that wasn’t in the original version. In fact, they hadn’t even shot these scenes when the original version hit theaters — star Ryan Reynolds and director David Leitch actually reassembled after the move came out to shoot new stuff specifically for the PG-13 cut:
We definitely shot new stuff. And recently too. After Deadpool 2 came out and we were all sitting around, we came to it less about the idea of let’s make a PG-13 movie and more, ‘Let’s talk a little bit about Deadpool.’ We were kicking around some ideas and then I think it was Ryan [Reynolds] who had the great framing device and we all got excited and went to the studio. They said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it. Fire up the cameras.’
The PG-13 Deadpool 2 still feels like a cash grab to me — but hey, at least you’re getting a little bang for your buck. We’ll see if it’s really worth rushing out to the theater for, or if you can safely wait to see it on home video at some point down the line. But this is an interesting development at the very least.