The new Deadpool may be more family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean that he has become entirely inoffensive. A petition is online which has asked that one of the posters for Once Upon a Deadpool be pulled, as it constitutes religious discrimination. The poster sees Deadpool at the center of the image and dressed all in white. He’s surrounded by characters from the film who look like angels. Check it out below.
The problem, according to the Change.org petition, is that the image for the Once Upon a Deadpool poster is based on a sacred picture to the Church of Latter-Day Saints, entitled The Second Coming. Deadpool has taken the place of Jesus Christ in the image, which the petition claims mocks the church, and the petition asks that the film stop using this poster and find something different to promote the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2.
Unfortunately, as written, the new petition isn’t going to carry much weight, as it’s directed to the wrong place. Change.org petitions need to be sent “to” a person or other entity and clearly, the person who created this one only did minimal research on the Deadpool franchise. This petition is being directed at Tim Miller, who was the director of the original Deadpool but left Deadpool 2 early in production, to be replaced by David Leitch.
Errors in attribution notwithstanding, the petition does have some support, as it has received over 36,000 signatures as of this writing. It’s not the massively overwhelming support that many movie based petitions have received, but it’s certainly a significant number of people.
Of course, while Once Upon a Deadpool might be a PG-13 version of the movie, the film is still a Deadpool movie. It’s not like everybody involved didn’t know what they were doing when they chose that particular religious image as the basis for the poster. Is it potentially offensive? Sure it is, but that was obviously the point. There were even rumors before the release of Deadpool 2 that the film was going to be subtitled The Second Coming, so it’s possible the studio has had this poster idea kicking around for a while, and just decided that it made sense to use it for the Christmas time release of Once Upon a Deadpool.
Of course, due to the fact that Once Upon a Deadpool has already been released in theaters, it’s unlikely that this petition will have any effect on anything. It could convince the studio to not use the image as the cover for the eventual Blu-ray release, but, honestly, the other Once Upon a Deadpool poster, which features Fred Savage and Deadpool astride Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is a better image for that anyway. Any official response from the filmmakers or the studio seems unlikely, but we’ll have to wait and see.