Regret From The Internship Pushed Shawn Levy To Fight For Deadpool 3's Hard R-Rating

Shawn Levy is a busy man. As a director, his credits stretch back to the 1990s and include everything from family friendly movies like "Big Fat Liar" and "Night at the Museum" to less family friendly movies like "This Is Where I Leave You" and, uh, that's pretty much it, actually. From "Real Steel" to "Date Night" and "The Adam Project," most of Levy's filmography is considered pretty safe, if not deeply snarky, viewing for the whole family. Well, for everyone 13 and up, at least. It's a lucrative cinematic window that statistically ticks the most boxes but it can also be incredibly limiting for certain stories ... and Levy knows this all too well.

While Levy has yet to direct anything near as hard R-rated as the first two "Deadpool" movies (even the R-rated "This Is Where I Leave You" is pretty tame compared to a Ryan Reynolds superhero franchise featuring murder Zambonis and bombs shaped like the letter F), he almost took a walk on the saucier side with "The Internship." Levy had wanted the 2013 comedy to be strictly for adults, only for his wishes to be unilaterally snubbed. Now, all these years later, that conflict is still fueling the way Levy makes movies.

Here's a brief story about how "The Internship" led to Levy's upcoming "Deadpool 3" becoming the first Marvel Cinematic Universe film to enter development with an R rating in mind.

Taking lessons to heart

In an exclusive interview with Collider, Shawn Levy confessed that he regretted allowing 20th Century Fox Studios to force him into editing "The Internship" — a film that stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson (who had previously played the leads in the decidedly R-rated comedy "Wedding Crashers") as two middle-aged salesmen vying to turn over a new leaf by applying for an internship at Google — so that it would be more family-friendly. He explained:

"One of the few regrets in my career is that I got strong-armed into recutting 'The Internship' from an R to a PG-13. I still regret it because the R-rated version of Vince and Owen in 'The Internship' was way better. And the me of today would not have succumbed like the me of 20, whatever, 12 years ago."

With that in mind, Levy went on to discuss his upcoming introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with "Deadpool 3." So far, the MCU holds a solid track record of producing PG-13 films. Conversely, "Deadpool" and "Deadpool 2" are sitting smack dab in the middle of a hard R rating. Levy told Collider that "it's also a North Star priority for Ryan [Reynolds] and I to keep Deadpool raw, gritty, grounded in the ways that those movies have been and that all of us love." Whatever he did worked because, back in 2021, Marvel Studios head honcho Feige confirmed "Deadpool 3" will be permitted an R rating

Now, will it be as R-rated as the previous "Deadpool" movies? That's yet to be seen. It's hard to imagine Feige letting something similar to the International Women's Day scene slide into the MCU. But, hey, maybe Marvel will surprise us — or perhaps Levy just has a lot more clout than he used to.