Get your popcorn and chimichangas at the ready: in just a few short months, the Deadpool movie is finally, officially upon us. Lead star Ryan Reynolds is reprising his role as the Merc with a Mouth, and according to all reports, has done everything in his power to keep this movie’s interpretation of Deadpool a little closer to the source material than his unfortunate appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
In the comics, Deadpool isn’t exactly known for being a typical superhero, and it’s unlikely that this movie will follow the traditional superhero formula. With that in mind, it’s worth reviewing some movies that have no doubt influenced the upcoming film to get a glimpse of what we can expect.
Here are 12 Movies To Watch Before Deadpool.
12. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The X-Men franchise has been going for well over a decade now, and in that time moviemakers have thrown pretty much every available mutant into their various films. Some mutants have even been seen twice, with completely different backstories in separate movies – such is the case with Wade Wilson, otherwise known as Deadpool.
Wolverine’s first solo movie isn’t exactly the most popular of the X-Men films, and fans of Deadpool were less than pleased with the way the character was treated. Even after hiring foul-mouthed funnyman Ryan Reynolds to play the character, they bizarrely decided to have his mouth sewn shut in the movie, giving the talented actor little to do.
11. X-Men: Days of Future Past
There’s no shortage of X-Men movies, some of which have been a lot better than others. Days of Future Past falls towards the top of the list in terms of quality – it’s certainly ahead of Origins: Wolverine, and might make a good palate cleanser for that reason, depending on how much you enjoy the first movie on this list.
What’s more, it’s entirely likely that the events of Days of Future Past will affect the plot of Deadpool, as the new movie will tie in with the wider X-Men franchise. As a matter of fact, the time travelling history-altering plot of Days of Future Past has allowed Deadpool to veer away from previously established canon in Origins, while still vaguely holding onto an idea of continuity. So, if for no other reason than to figure out how Deadpool fits in with past X-Men movies, this is a must-see.
10. The Proposal
Ryan Reynolds is known for two things. Firstly, his comedic timing, and secondly, his pretty, pretty face. As Deadpool always wears a mask (and is ugly as sin underneath it), his movie probably won’t feature a lot of eye candy, but it will feature a lot of jokes – much like The Proposal, a rom-com starring Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.
The Proposal is a fairly typical romantic comedy: two unlikely characters, in this case a hard-nosed (and Canadian) businesswoman and her long-suffering assistant, try to convince the US government that they’re getting married for love rather than a green card, because of plot reasons. This is actually quite a fun movie, and features hilarious performances from both Bullock and Reynolds. It’s as good a showcase as any that Reynolds knows his way around a comedy script, which is a big plus for a film as zany as Deadpool.
Here’s a movie starring Ryan Reynolds that’s likely to have a very similar tone to Deadpool. There’s not much murder in this film, but plenty of crude humor and dumb jokes – two things that Deadpool, more than any other superhero, is known for.
The story of a group of young adults working in a family restaurant, Waiting… sees Ryan Reynolds trying to seduce a not-yet-eighteen hostess, showing his trainee what happens when food gets sent back to the kitchen (it’s not pleasant) and engaging in witty banter with anyone who’ll sit still for long enough. It’s the kind of movie that Deadpool would be proud of, even if there aren’t nearly enough guns in it.
To get a sense of the kind of humor that’s packed into Deadpool’s script, it’s worth looking at another movie written by the same creative team: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Zombieland, the movie which launched their careers, is a great example of the weird, dark, gross humor that the two can concoct together.
Zombieland, a horror parody movie, is filled with ridiculous jokes, over the top characters, and full of comic bloody violence. It’s pretty clear from this movie that Reese and Wernick are an absolutely perfect choice for the Deadpool script, and it gives a good insight into the kind of weird, irreverent and violent humor we can expect the upcoming movie to deliver.
7. Thor: The Dark World
Deadpool director Tim Miller has never made a full length movie before. He has, however, worked on several comic book movie adaptations, so he’s by no means a newbie to the world of over-the-top characters in colorful costumes. He’s even been involved with a Marvel movie as well, albeit one that’s a little more child-friendly than Deadpool.
Thor: The Dark World can hardly be called gritty, but it’s got a fair amount of punching, fighting, and even a bit of death and gore. As Miller directed the second unit for the movie’s opening scene, he’s had experience shooting action scenes with weird characters that rely heavily on special effects. Plus, once the intro to The Dark World is finished, the rest of the movie’s pretty good too, so it’s worth sticking around to the end-of-credits scene.
6. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
While Scott Pilgrim didn’t exactly make waves at the box office, the movie adaptation of the hit comic book series by Bryan Lee O’Malley has justifiably earned a cult classic status. The movie is a kung fu romance; the story of a slacker 20-something-year-old who lives within a videogame and has to do battle with his girlfriend’s seven evil exes. It’s colorful, action-packed, and above all, downright hilarious.
Deadpool director Tim Miller also worked on this movie, lending his talents as a creative supervisor, and as such, it makes Scott Pilgrim a great place to start for anyone looking to prepare themselves for the upcoming movie. With its over-the-top special effects, fast-moving plot and a variety of exhilarating fight scenes, the movie is a fantastic experience that shouldn’t be too different to the Deadpool movie.
There are a lot of superhero movies. Some are clean, family-friendly affairs – and then there’s Kick-Ass. In many ways, Kick-Ass works as a subversion of many of the traditional superhero tropes: it stars a teenager in a world without super powers who decides to copy his comic book heroes and suit up to fight crime, with hilariously violent results.
Kick-Ass therefore treads a lot of the same ground as Deadpool – it’s by no means a movie to be taken seriously, as its violent gore is played for laughs among a colorful cast of weird characters. Anyone looking to get a taste of what they can expect from the Merc With a Mouth can’t go wrong with this movie.
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service
Not many movies are quite as weird as Kingsman. The film utterly refuses to take itself seriously, even – and especially – during its many violent action scenes. It’s a spy film, but it spends its time making fun of movies like the James Bond movies, rather than copying them. Both the protagonist and the villain are very, very far removed from the typical characters you’d see in a secret agent film: the hero is an uneducated and rude, while the villain can’t stand the sight of blood.
Kingsman (also an adaptation of a violent comic book, by the way) therefore shares a lot in common with Deadpool: it’s violent, comic, colorful and at times downright surreal, and serves a both a parody and a tribute to similar films of the past. It’s also choc-full of swearing, comic gore and everything else you could want from a Deadpool movie, so it’s worth a watch to help make the wait a little more bearable.
3. Green Lantern
Deadpool is most definitely not Ryan Reynolds’ first superhero rodeo. Even ignoring his previous appearance as Wade Wilson, he’s been in plenty of comic book movies before now, and none are more notorious than Green Lantern. DC’s first (and thus far, only) attempt to bring Green Lantern to the big screen combined Reynolds’ sense of humor with glittering CGI spectacles and larger than life alien monsters.
By all accounts, it’s not exactly the most well-loved of the superhero movies, and DC’s reluctance to include light humor in any of its movies since suggests that they blame that at least in part on the comedic elements of the movie. That said, it’s got Ryan Reynolds in a superhero costume, so it’s good prep for anyone gearing up for Deadpool, and drawing parallels between both movies is pretty much unavoidable.
2. Blade Trinity
Before Green Lantern, before the Marvel Cinematic Universe and even before the original X-Men movie, one film in the late ‘90s showed moviegoers what could be done with comic book adaptations. Blade was a big hit, a gruesome yet stylish movie about a vampire hunter who came straight out of a Marvel comic. Compared with modern Marvel films, Blade was violent, dark and exceptionally grown up, although not without losing the connection to its comic book roots.
The third movie in the Blade series is not the most respected of the lot, but it has one thing which makes it particularly relevant to those looking to get ready for Deadpool: Ryan Reynolds. Yes, Reynolds has previously shown up in yet another comic book movie franchise, here taking up the role of wisecracking sidekick to the titular Blade. It’s a darker, more violent take on superhero movies, but Reynolds manages to bring a lot of lighter, comedic moments to his role anyway – let’s face it, he would probably find it incredibly difficult to not be funny.
1. The Voices
Ryan Reynolds has a fair amount of experience playing a serial killer. The Voices is one such example – it’s a comedy about a man who hears his pets talking to him, encouraging him to commit murders. It’s a fairly gory, bizarre movie, and Reynolds’ character is disconcertingly likeable even as he’s chopping up bodies.
It’s pretty fair to say that Deadpool as portrayed by Reynolds won’t be a million miles away from this performance. His role in The Voices is a pretty perfect example of his excellent comedic timing and ability to deliver an offbeat punchline – skills we’ll no doubt see a lot of in Deadpool. Plus, The Voices also stars Anna Kendrick, which is probably reason enough to see it.
So, there are 12 movies to see before watching Deadpool. Which is your favorite, and what’s missing from the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.