There are a handful of fictional characters who wholly embody the holiday spirit. Jack Frost, Buddy the Elf and John McClane (if you’re part of the “Die Hard is a Christmas film” camp) have a way of invoking the urge to sip hot cocoa around an ornament-laden tree. For some of us, it’s just not the holidays without a cinematic visit from our precious Christmastime pals.
Deadpool isn’t quite one of those characters. Still, that’s not about to stop him from trying.
This Christmas, Deadpool 2 will be returning to theaters in a new PG-13 reimagining titled Once Upon a Deadpool. Understandably, it might be difficult to picture a softer, youth-friendly version the foul-mouthed mercenary. So for his new film’s official trailer, Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) recruited (or, you know, straight up kidnapped) a bewildered Fred Savage to help him with the hefty task of presenting his story “through the prism of childlike innocence.”
Why Fred Savage? Because more than three years after starring in The Princess Bride, Savage is still widely known as the cherubic face of one of the most iconic fairy tales of the modern era. Fans of the classic will immediately recognize the setting of Wade Wilson’s plea to Savage as an exact replica of famous Grandson’s bedroom in the 1987 film, right down to the cough syrup and open bag of Cheetohs.
The move from an R rating to PG-13 is a rare one. Even rarer than that is a loud proclamation of said move, complete with a fourth wall-breaking trailer and highly marketed rebranding effort.
But this is not some struggling film in need of a familial boost. The Deadpool franchise is a box office hit that boasted a record-breaking opening for an R-rated film. Once Upon a Deadpool appears to be a holiday gift of sorts for long-suffering parents who’ve denied their kids’ repeated pleas to see a truly not-for-kids superhero movie.
The trailer has been a smash hit in its own right, garnering 8 million views on YouTube and 2.5 million on Facebook in its first 24 hours
Once Upon a Deadpool will arrive to theaters for a limited 12-day run starting Dec. 12, and will intercut repurposed Deadpool 2 scenes with new reshoots. $1 from each ticket sold will be donated to the charity Fudge Cancer, renamed temporarily from “Fuck Cancer” in solidarity with the film’s family-friendlier direction.
And yes, Fred Savage will be there, albeit reluctantly.
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