The now very-much-in-development Deadpool movie had for years seemed to be needlessly shelved, with not just a solid script and director in place, but a leading man – Ryan Reynolds – virtually tailor-made for the role in question. But with a long awaited green light from Fox and Reynolds in place to star, the challenge of casting the rest of the film can begin (along with the story hints that come as a result).
Two actors have already been rumored, most likely for roles as Deadpool’s sidekick and villain, and now the frontrunners have emerged for the female lead as well. With the actresses in question ranging in age, appearance, past roles and even genres, even devoted fans may have trouble nailing down just what Fox and director Tim Miller are after for the Merc with a Mouth’s leading lady.
The shortlist comes courtesy of Deadline, reporting that Morena Baccarin (Gotham), Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow), Crystal Reed (Teen Wolf), Sarah Greene (Vikings) and Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Red Band Society) have all signed on to test for the unnamed role. The film’s lower budget means it’s unsurprising to see actresses known for their work on the small screen as opposed to silver being considered.
And few would argue that Ryan Reynolds has enough star power to carry a comic book franchise – even if the character in question is a nearly invincible, horribly disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary.
That isn’t to say that the actresses aren’t a promising bunch, and likely known to most of our readers. Baccarin earned her stripes in the Comic-Con community with roles in Firefly, V, Stargat SG-1 and to larger audiences with Homeland. Schilling has become one of the early faces of Netflix’s original programming with Orange is the New Black, and has earned praise for her recent Sundance film The Overnight.
The rest in the running have made their names in smaller roles: De Gouw brought classic Batman character Huntress to life on Arrow, Greene has appeared twice as ‘Princess Judith’ on History’s Vikings, Reed hunted werewolves as ‘Allison Argent’ on Teen Wolf, while newcomer Rittenhouse played Nurse Dobler on Fox’s short-lived Red Band Society.
Assuming they’re all in the running for the same role, Baccarin and Schilling may seem like frontrunners. But depending on the romance/chemistry/action/humor expected from the part, it’s anyone’s race at this point. Now the only question becomes: who will the actress be playing?
Assuming that Deadpool will be keeping close to the comic book source material (which Reynolds implies will certainly be the case), then one young woman stands out in Wade Wilson’s early days: Vanessa Carlysle. In the comics, Vanessa was a struggling prostitute who crossed paths with Wilson, sending the two into a passionate love affair that only ended when Wilson was struck with terminal cancer. Seeking to prevent Vanessa’s heartbreak, he cut ties before his illness worsened – eventually leading him to the Weapon X program.
Vanessa would go on to become the mutant shapeshifter known as Copycat, but even if Deadpool is going to be taking place in Fox’s larger X-Men movie universe, we wouldn’t expect to see her mutating just yet. The character is far from the only woman that Deadpool has romanced in and out of his signature suit, but with the fewest ties to existing Marvel franchises or villains, she may be the easiest to include without re-writing comic canon.
Which of these actresses would you like to see land the part opposite Reynolds’ mercenary? Is there another classic “Deadpool” femme fatale you would hope to see play a role in the film, and if so, do you suspect one of these actresses may wind up in the part? Sound off in the comments.
Deadpool releases in theaters February 12, 2016.