Comic book fans may be waiting to see if Deadpool can truly be brought to the screen in a fitting fashion, but for now, 20th Century Fox has their eyes set on comic book characters with more ‘superhero’ credibility. But with X-Men: Days of Future Past bringing time travel plot devices and reuniting fan favorite characters, and The Wolverine taking a darker direction, could the Deadpool movement be growing?
Ryan Reynolds is itching for a chance to play the mutated mercenary, and all the film needs is Fox’s go-ahead. An opportunity to see Wade Wilson pop up in Fox’s upcoming wave of reboots could help get the ball rolling, but according to Reynolds, fans shouldn’t count on it. But trust us, it’s for the best possible reasons.
Reynolds explained in an interview with Empire that while a guest appearance as the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ would be a fun addition to an ensemble cast, the chances of seeing Deadpool before a standalone movie aren’t exactly high:
“I love that kind of stuff. I loved doing Wolverine ’cause the movie wasn’t on my shoulders. I got to kind of come in and insult everybody. It was a lot of fun actually. I love Deadpool and there is a script that’s in development. But it’s so, so far into the R-rated zone… it’s a nearly NC-17 world and I just don’t know if the studio would ever risk their reputation doing it. We’ve been developing it and we would never wanna do it unless you could it that R-rated way, so…”
The stakes would be particularly high for a hard-R-rated ‘superhero’ movie for obvious reasons, but that might be changing. Initial apprehension from Fox is understandable given the mass appeal of movies like X-Men: First Class or The Avengers, but the ongoing home video success of Dredd (and the building support for a grittier Daredevil reboot) are starting to prove that adult comic book fans might, in fact, be interested in adult comic book movies. Ironically enough, Marvel comic book films first broke into the mainstream with Blade, the 1998 Wesley Snipes film that was itself Rated-R.
Fox has turned to the right talent, having Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese turn in a Deadpool script following the success of their dark-comedy Zombieland. That script has received nothing but glowing reviews, with Reynolds emphasizing just how strongly the tone of the comic book is being adapted. Their sardonic, irreverent look at a zombie apocalypse may not have much in common with a gun-for-hire, but Reynolds says it’s a match made in heaven:
“Deadpool’s got a similar tone almost. They wrote it and they developed it as well and, you know, it’s sitting there. You could do it for a pittance compared to the modern sort of epic scale superhero movies, but it’s about a guy who knows he’s in a movie and knows he’s in a comic book who is deeply mentally disturbed and hyper violent. And that’s tough to get by a studio.”
One major obstacle to green-lighting even a low-budget film is convincing Fox that the payoff outweighs the risk; one of the larger risks (or upsides) being that, as Reynolds has explained previously, Deadpool is not a superhero. He may spend time among them, and be found in comic books, but convincing a studio that an antihero mercenary shouldn’t be made out to be a superhero – when superhero films are the most bankable – isn’t going to be easy.
Is there any chance to see Deadpool have some sort of set-up or crossover with either The Wolverine or X-Men: Days of Future Past?
“I don’t think you can do that, because that character would really sully that whole world. The script is one rewrite away from Deadpool jumping across the desk at the studio executive and attacking him.
“But I’ve always wanted to do the movie if only because Deadpool would get to do his own movie trailer. So that’s a thing that we were dying to do and we would love to be a part of that. I don’t know how it would fit though, no. In the current iteration of the script, it doesn’t address Wolverine – though it does address Deadpool’s appearance in Wolverine. Deadpool was not happy with Deadpool in Wolverine. He has a sort of a WTF!? moment with that.”
Lauren Shuler Donner had previously talked about the Deadpool script’s irreverence for the version of the character seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, so it’s nice to see that’s still the plan. We still side with Reynolds in thinking it’s best if everyone just forget the Deadpool seen in that film, but taking a blatant shot at that monstrosity will be guaranteed to get a laugh. Assuming the film ever gets made.
For now, fans can only hold out hope that those entrusted with the Deadpool adaptation stick to their guns. An NC-17 movie may be the most fitting for the source material, but that’s going to be a tough proposition for Fox to approve. What do you think the odds are of a movie ever doing justice to Wade Wilson? Would you settle for a softer version if it meant seeing Reynolds in the role? Sound off in the comments.
We’ll keep you updated on Deadpool if further details or updates are released.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.