Kevin Feige Confirms ‘Deadpool 3’ Rating, Talks Thunderbolt Ross, Fewer MCU TV Shows, And More

We always say to wait until you hear it from Kevin Feige’s mouth before believing any of the Marvel rumors out there. Not that Feige is one to divulge too much information, but he usually won’t steer you wrong, either. With multiple Marvel projects coming up as part of Phase 5, beginning with this week’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Feige spoke to EW and gave some key updates.

The first big one is that Deadpool 3 will be Marvel Studios’ first R-rated movie. Feige confirmed the news himself, which makes the upcoming sequel something of a milestone that could lead to more adult-skewing films. There had been some concern that Disney would balk at the idea of keeping the franchise’s foul-mouthed tone, but saner heads have prevailed.

Coming up in Captain America: New World Order, Harrison Ford will be taking over the role of General Thunderbolt Ross. Played for years by the late William Hurt, Ross will have a much bigger part to play this time. Why? Well, because he’s going to be the most powerful political figure in the world, that’s why.

“This is certainly a big part for Thaddeus Ross. He’s the president of the United States in the film,” said Feige. “And with Harrison, you think about ‘Air Force One,’ and you think about some of his confrontations with the president in ‘Clear and Present Danger.’ There’s a dynamic between President Ross and Sam Wilson. They have a history together, but in this film, we’ll be seeing the dynamic between Captain America and the president of the United States in a way that is just incredible.”

I can already see Sam (Anthony Mackie) fighting the call to be America’s Avenger, always at the beck and call of the President. And what happens if Ross becomes the Red Hulk? Will he be impeached? That would be impeach-worthy, right?

Finally, if you listened to my recent Cinema Royale episode on Ant-Man 3, you’ll know that one of my complaints about Phase 4 was that it was slowed down by a whopping eight Disney+ TV shows, which made integration tough. Feige has seemingly noticed it, too, and says that things are going to change in terms of the quantity of programming…

“I do think one of the powerful aspects of being at Marvel Studios is having these films and shows hit the zeitgeist,” he explained. “It is harder to hit the zeitgeist when there’s so much product out there — and so much “content,” as they say, which is a word that I hate. [Laughs] But we want Marvel Studios and the MCU projects to really stand out and stand above. So, people will see that as we get further into Phase 5 and 6. The pace at which we’re putting out the Disney+ shows will change so they can each get a chance to shine.”

Fewer Marvel shows should be a good thing for the long haul, otherwise, that whole “superhero fatigue” thing might actually happen.


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.