In less than a year, the first non-Wolverine X-Men spinoff will hit theaters, focusing on none other than fan-favorite Marvel Comics antihero Deadpool. The project was stuck in development hell for years after Twentieth Century Fox first commissioned a script and attached a director to build something out of Ryan Reynolds playing (a version of) the character in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine but only decided to greenlight the project last year.
The timing and rushed released date of Deadpool is due in large part to the studio’s efforts to push their Marvel film licenses to the forefront of their tentpole release slate, finally realizing the franchise value of the library of X-Men and Fantastic Four characters at a time when superhero genre flicks dominate Hollywood. With production beginning on Deadpool, Fox and director Tim Miller are rounding out the cast.
Reynolds is back as Wade Wilson, but this time is playing the “real” version of the character, full Deadpool comics costume and all. The star promises that critical fans of the books will be pleased with what Miller has planned which, judging by his Deadpool test footage and the praise of Rhett Weese and Paul Wernick’s script, is not difficult to believe, especially after the much improved critical reception to the studio’s last three efforts, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Joining Reynolds as the female lead is Morena Baccarin with a supporting cast that includes Gina Carano as Angel Dust and a re-cast X-Men regular in Colossus. We can also add to that roster, funnyman T.J. Miller, star of Silicon Valley, voice actor in Big Hero 6 and How To Train Your Dragon, and recognizable supporting character in films including Transformers: Age of Extinction and Rock of Ages. T.J. Miller, a stand up comic, got his big break in film playing the cameraman (the audience’s perspective) in Cloverfield and the actor teased his Deadpool role yesterday on Twitter, and confirmed it today. He’s playing Weasel.
Miller is an appropriate choice and is a proven commodity at playing likable, if sometimes off-putting and memorable characters, which is fitting for bouncing off the witty and fast-talking dialogue of Reynolds’ “Merc with a Mouth.” Fan casting wishlists over the years always geared towards recognizable 30-somethings with comedy backgrounds, including the often named Adam Brody, B.J. Novak, Charlie Day, Jay Baruchel, and Justin Bartha, and Miller is a current hot choice.
In Marvel Comics, Weasel is essentially Deadpool’s support guy and best pal. From information to weapons, Weasel has the mercenary covered. The running gag will be how poorly Deadpool treats and talks to Weasel given his nature so expect their banter to be a central point of the film’s comedic tone.
Fantastic Four opens August 7th, 2015, Deadpool on February 12, 2016, X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016, Gambit on October 7 2016, Wolverine 3 (not the official title) on March 3rd, 2017, Fantastic Four 2 on June 9th, 2017, and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13th, 2018.