Ryan Reynolds has no regrets, and he shouldn’t given his continued success. Not even box office flops like R.I.P.D. and critically panned, failed franchise starter Green Lantern are putting a dent in Reynolds’ optimism.
When it comes to the lofty financial and fan expectations of comic book adaptations, Ryan Reynolds is no stranger. He had a scene-stealing supporting role in Blade: Trinity, a film that fundamentally killed the series before the rights to the property reverted to Marvel Entertainment. He played a poorly adapted version of Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine but still managed to be one of the film’s highlights with his action sequence and dialogue. And then there’s Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. where a mix of poor ideas and questionable direction killed potential franchises before they began. Now that Reynolds has a second chance at bringing Deadpool to life in a new X-Men spinoff coming to theaters in a year, how will this differ and find success where the others did not?
“Well, script. When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one.
Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the other stars who auditioned for Green Lantern, apparently without a screenplay as well. As for script differences going into the production of Deadpool, its screenplay was written by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick over four years ago, shortly after the Deadpool character made his first appearance in 2009’s Wolverine origin story. It leaked online and received nothing but high praise for its story, action and unique humor.
We’ve had a script for three years. The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot — if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I’ve since learned that a lot of superhero movies don’t really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they’re already well into shooting.”
So, the key difference is planning in advance and having a good story and script in place. Reynolds seems to be referring to the many superhero flicks rushed into production based on key release dates over complete ideas. It’s a problem that films including Iron Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World suffered from as well. With Deadpool however, everyone involved is ready and has been for years. It was always just the studio holding up development with indecision.
It was the leak of test footage that got Deadpool the official green light from Twentieth Century Fox and it seems, it might be a script leak that helped get the test footage made in the first place. This is one odd X-Men movie development story, seemingly driven by fans, and it’s fitting given that Deadpool is X-Men’s oddest character.
For Green Lantern fans looking forward to a character reboot as part of director Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman/Justice League franchise, there’s plenty of time to hammer down story details long before auditions happen. The new Green Lantern won’t open in theaters until summer 2020 although this version of the character may appear earlier in the DC Cinematic Universe.
Deadpool releases in theaters February 12, 2016 and X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016.
Header image edited from art by XxDan-The-ManxX.