It all began when Fox asked Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds to do a PG-13 version of the movie. Ryan said no. Fox asked again. And again. And again. Finally, after saying no since 2006, the thespian who portrays the Merc with the Mouth did an about-face. He would go for it, but on two conditions, he explained to Deadline: First, part of the proceeds have to go to charity. “Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining …”
And now, behold: we have a trailer previewing the results. It’s a PG-13-ified trailer for Once Upon A Deadpool. Filtered, as the movie promises, “through the prism of childlike innocence.” Which is another way of saying — Deadpool 2 has been redone to give it a PG-13 treatment.
Intones a narrator in the trailer: “Right before Christmas, a good guy in red, is coming to theaters … with his new sidekick Fred.” There’s Fred Savage — as in, grown adult Fred — is sitting upright in a bed, a la The Princess Bride. Why am I here, he asks Deadpool, incredulously. You need me, Deadpool assures Fred. You need me … to untie you, once we’re done, Deadpool explains, before flipping back the bed covers.
As 20th Century Fox notes in its announcement of the movie, “Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for Once Upon A Deadpool in an homage to Savage’s starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic The Princess Bride. Fred remarked, ‘while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab.'”
That’s a reference to Reynolds’ first condition of doing the movie. For every ticket sold, $1 will go to the charity Fudge Cancer — “previously known as Fuck Cancer,” the movie announcement notes, adding that the charity has “graciously changed their name to be more PG-13 friendly for the 12 days of Once Upon A Deadpool’s release.”
Explains Deadline about the movie: “Once Upon a Deadpool will have a limited-engagement that begins Dec. 12 and concludes on Christmas Eve, positioning it as a box-office play aimed at young teens on holiday break from school.
“The lion’s share of Once Upon Deadpool is footage from Deadpool 2 that has been edited to meet PG-13 thresholds of violence and language. There’s also new footage in the form of a framing sequence that was conceived by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Working with a small film crew, Reynolds and his cohorts filmed all the framing scenes in a single hectic day of guerrilla-style filmmaking.”