Disney+ just got a little darker.
The streamer announced that starting Friday, July 22, R-rated Marvel titles “Deadpool,” “Deadpool 2,” and “Logan” will be available to stream in the U.S.
Ryan Reynolds’ 2016 record-breaking hit “Deadpool” tells the story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Reynolds) who hunts down those who nearly killed him with a rogue experiment that has granted him superpowers. Its sequel, “Deadpool 2,” premiered in 2018.
Critically acclaimed 2017 film “Logan” features Hugh Jackman reprising the role of Wolverine as he cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and vows to save the next generation of mutants.
“Logan” star Jackman joked on Instagram that it was a “questionable” decision for Disney to put the films on the streamer.
“Thank you @disneyplus for adding brothers-in-arms @deadpoolmovie and #Logan as the first R-Rated movies on the platform,” Jackman captioned. “While your choice is questionable, we’ll take it.”
“Deadpool” actor Reynolds quipped on Twitter, “We’re supposed to announce ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’ will soon be the first R-rated movies on Disney+. But we all know some Disney movies should already be rated R for irreversible trauma.” His post cited “Lion King,” “Old Yeller,” “Snow White,” and “Bambi.”
Disney+ included a reminder to subscribers to adjust their parental controls fittingly for the releases of “Logan” and the two “Deadpool” films.
“With the addition of these new titles, subscribers are invited to revisit their parental controls settings to ensure a viewing experience most suitable for them and their family,” Disney+ said in a press statement.
The inclusion of R-rated Marvel titles, including Netflix’s Marvel series “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “Iron Fist” on the streaming platform, caused the Parents Television Council (PTC) to previously issue a statement condemning the content.
In March 2022, the PTC warned such titles could tarnish the “family-friendly” brand of Disney+.
In a letter titled “PTC to Disney: Better Online Parental Controls are Good, but TV-MA-Rated Content Destroys Your Brand,” the organization slammed the decision to add six series rated for mature audiences only; prior to the Netflix Marvel series being added, Disney+ had only allowed content rated TV-14 or younger.
“For more than 98 years, the Walt Disney Company has been synonymous with the words Family Friendly, and I can think of no other corporation in American history that has been built more squarely on the backs — and on the wallets — of parents and families,” President of the Parents Television and Media Council Tim Winter said. “The company’s eponymous platform Disney Plus logically marketed itself as a family-friendly streaming service, and parents have placed their trust in Disney to deliver just that.”
Winter continued, “It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney Plus to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to increase subscription revenue. So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World?”
The statement added at the time that “there is no need for Disney+ to compete with the explicit content on other streaming platforms” since the company is already at a “competitive advantage” being the “safest” streamer for families.
“Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family-friendly crown,” the letter concluded.
Disney updated its parental control setting March 16 to coincide with the Marvel Defender series release. Per the streamer, the new controls include the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock the profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under profile settings.
Content permissions will need to be adjusted to TV-MA in order to view the series, the streamer confirmed to IndieWire.
As for more rated-R content, “Deadpool 3” screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick told Den of Geek that Disney has been “supportive” of carrying over the explicit tone and dark humor from the first two films after Disney acquired Fox.
“You know, it’s never a marriage we necessarily saw coming — Fox and Disney, that was an external thing [separate] from our storytelling process,” Reese said. “But we’re absolutely finding the serendipity and the gold in that situation, or we’re trying to.”
Reese continued, “They’ve been very supportive with regard to [dark humor]. Now when it comes to a particular joke, if we cross a line, maybe we’ll hear at some point, ‘Maybe not that joke.’ But I think they’ve been incredibly supportive of what we’re doing, because obviously we were doing it separate from them for a long time, and I think they’ve seen the success and they’ve had their own even greater success. So hopefully it’ll be a marriage made in heaven. But we’ve definitely got their support, and that’s a great thing to feel.”
We’re supposed to announce Logan and Deadpool will soon be the first R-rated movies on Disney+. But we all know some Disney movies should already be rated R for irreversible trauma. pic.twitter.com/FoIbiwKhiG
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 21, 2022