The Merc with a Mouth is officially coming to China. Or at least, a Merc with a somewhat washed-out mouth.
Fox is releasing a PG-13 reimagining of “Deadpool 2” in the Middle Kingdom on Jan. 25, Variety has confirmed. The Mandarin Chinese title translates to “Deadpool 2: I Love My Home,” and promotional posters tout Ryan Reynolds’ masked hero coyly covering his mouth with the words “I just won’t tell you.”
A partially bowdlerized cut, titled “Once Upon a Deadpool,” was first released in December. It brought in around $6 million in the States and just under $1 million overseas during its two-week run. During its initial theatrical showing over the summer, the R-rated superhero comedy pocketed $734 million worldwide. Fox added ticket sales from “Once Upon a Deadpool” to the bounty of “Deadpool 2” so its domestic tally now stands at $324 million, along with $412 million from international markets.
It’s unclear if audiences in China will embrace a friendlier superhero adventure that sees Wade Wilson recount the sequel as a bedtime story to Fred Savage in the vein of “Princess Bride.” Neither “Deadpool” nor its followup “Deadpool 2” were released in the mainland, which has strict standards about profanity and sex on screen. “Once Upon a Deadpool” cuts a number of f-bombs and cleans up the gory scenes from “Deadpool 2.”
A promising note, for the studio at least, is how strongly Chinese audiences have embraced lighter superhero fare like “Venom” and “Aquaman.” “Venom,” Sony’s take on the alien symbiote played by Tom Hardy, generated a massive $272 million in the Middle Kingdom alone. Meanwhile, the aquatic adventures of Jason Momoa in Warner Bros.’ DC entry “Aquaman” resonated in a big way, earning $284 million in China to date. Even if “Deadpool 2” doesn’t receive a hero’s welcome, it will be an interesting test for how a raunchier title could play in the second-biggest movie market.