After years of being in development hell, Fox finally gave the long-gestating Deadpool solo film the green light last year, following the timely leak of some test footage that director Tim Miller put together with star Ryan Reynolds. The two have been on board for this project for a long time, and they’re excited to get a chance to channel their passion for the fan-favorite antihero by doing the character justice in this movie (after the version of the character who appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was derided by fans).
Despite the fanbase clamoring for a proper Deadpool movie after Origins, Fox was hesitant to move forward on it until they saw the widespread enthusiasm the general public had for the antihero. The energetic, humorous test footage launched an Internet campaign to get the movie made, and the studio listened to the demands of the people. That fact hasn’t been lost on Reynolds, who is eternally grateful for all the support the Deadpool movie has received.
The actor took to Twitter to thank the Deadpool fans for their part in helping make the project a reality:
People keep thanking me for getting Deadpool made. I didn't get it made. YOU did. The internet put Fox in a hammerlock death-grip. #sayuncle— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) February 20, 2015
This message should only enhance the already fervent response Deadpool has received to this point. The creative team behind it have already gone on record saying that they will be loyal to the comic book canon with their work, and have teased that the film’s smaller budget will allow Miller more creative freedom (which should help bring Deadpool’s more eccentric traits to the forefront). That’s more than enough for the film to score the approval of longtime fans, but Reynolds going out of his way to personally thank his followers will make moviegoers feel all the more appreciated.
Casual observers may point to the last time Reynolds led a comic adaptation (2011’s ill-fated Green Lantern) and wonder why so many people were eager to get this particular movie made. Reynolds seems to be aware of that, and has gone on record to explain what makes Deadpool different than GL (namely, having a praised screenplay in place before the cameras started rolling). The uniqueness of the Wade Wilson character and his various aspects (such as fourth-wall breaking) should also help Deadpool put its own stamp on the genre and separate it from what’s come before. There are plenty of reasons to be excited for it.
Furthermore, the film will be another cog in Fox’s growing X-Men film universe, and it will feature other X-Men characters to help establish connections between it and the other movies in the franchise. If Deadpool is well-received by the general public, it opens to door to several different opportunities for Fox moving forward (X-Force) – and perhaps gives them a new poster boy to fill Hugh Jackman’s shoes should our Wolverine ever step down.
The existence of a Deadpool movie illustrates just how powerful the Internet can be in this information age, with social media all the more prevalent in our lives. Between the #WhyNotDeadpool movement and director Neill Blomkamp getting to helm his Alien movie (a project that came together under similar circumstances), one has to wonder just how far fans can go in getting certain productions green lit by the studios. If executives see people using the voice they have, they’ve shown that they can be persuaded.
The big question that remains to be answered is this: now that fans are getting their Deadpool movie, how commercially viable will the property prove to be? Is the Merc with the Mouth too much of a cult figure or will he be able to attract the mainstream? The success of recent irreverent comic book movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Kingsman: The Secret Service have shown that viewers will warmly welcome edgier works in this genre, so the odds are certainly in Deadpool’s favor. That would help the future of “crowd-sourced” blockbusters stay bright.
Deadpool hits theaters February 12, 2016.
Source: Ryan Reynolds
Header image by sadorien @ DeviantArt