Over the holiday season, Fox released a PG-13 cut of Deadpool. Dubbed Once Upon a Deadpool, the edit removed all of the bloody violence and potty-mouthed dialogue, replacing it with an admittedly inspired framing device in which Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) kidnaps Fred Savage and forces him to relive The Princess Bride as he recounts the tale of Deadpool and X-Force. Despite the neat trick, Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus agreed that the additional scenes didn’t “add enough to Deadpool 2 to justify its own existence.”
Well, Fox is surely feeling justified in the film’s existence, because the PG-13 version just secured a Chinese release.
Neither Deadpool nor Deadpool 2 made it to theaters in China, an inevitability given the country’s strict standards and the movies’ hard-R visuals and scripts. Both films were plenty successful without a Middle Kingdom release, with the former the former raking in $783 million worldwide and the latter tallying $743 million. Still, in this modern era of entertainment consumption, the Chinese market is the Golden Cow, with Hollywood studios frequently gearing films as much towards China as the US. Hence, even if its a less vicious Merc with a Mouth hitting the screens, it’s something of a coup to get Deadpool on Chinese screens.
Though Once Upon a Deadpool’s already added $6 million to Deadpool 2’s overall box office, its true boon could come once it opens in China on January 25th. According to Variety, the Mandarin title translates to Deadpool 2: I Love My Home and is being advertised with a poster of the title character placing his hands over his mouth alongside the words, “I just won’t tell you.” Whether or not Chinese audiences embrace a watered-down sequel without having ever (legally) seen the original is yet to be seen, though it’s encouraging that other bloodless superhero flicks like Venom and Aquaman have done extremely well in the Middle Kingdom.
Watch the Once Upon a Deadpool trailer below.