Back in 2016, Deadpool crushed it at the box office and made many Marvel fans’ dreams come true. The film has been generally praised as a faithful comic book adaptation — rightly so, since it took star Ryan Reynolds and co. years to get it off the ground — and is even receiving some major film award nominations. All of this recognition only drives more excitement for the character’s follow up solo film, Deadpool 2, which is expected to hit the big screen in 2018.
Despite some directorial drama, it looks as though the team behind the sequel is dedicated to making it as fresh and groundbreaking as its predecessor. One of the key players in the Deadpool franchise has been star Ryan Reynolds, who not only provided the film with star power, but has actually been heavily involved in scripting and studio negotiation since the character’s on-screen inception. Reynolds is not shy when it comes to sharing his Deadpool opinions, and a recent interview reveals he has some particular hopes for the character’s romantic future.
In conversation with Variety, Reynolds discussed his willingness to see Deadpool romantically paired with a man in the sequel. Reynolds stated:
“What love is to Deadpool may not be what love is to Batman or someone else. I think that could be played up more. He’s an outsider in every way, shape, and form . . . The only thing that you have to consider going forward is, ‘Are we being faithful to the canon that we nurtured and created?’ One of those things is that Deadpool is in love with Vanessa. Deadpool isn’t in love with Vanessa just because she’s a woman. He’s in love with Vanessa because he loves her.”
The actor is not worried about losing international viability with the introduction of an openly LGBT character, saying, “That’s not really a problem for us, because we were banned in China. We were rated ‘f— you!’ in China.”
This is hardly Reynolds’ first time voicing support for the character’s on-screen pansexuality: in an interview from last February, Reynolds said he “certainly wouldn’t be the guy standing in the way of that.” It seems as though other members of the Deadpool team are in support as well, with screenwriter Rhett Rheese telling Variety, “I hope [Deadpool’s sexuality] can evolve into something a bit more.” It’s also worth noting that Deadpool director Tim Miller was the first creator to label the character “pansexual” — and ardently so.
It would be groundbreaking to see a superhero in a same-sex relationship on the big screen, and if the first LGBT hero can’t be Wonder Woman, let it be Deadpool. The only potential hurdle between a male/male romance and Deadpool 2 (aside from respectfully breaking up Wade and Vanessa) is tone. Since the Merc is defined by his outlandishness, most of what he does is not to be taken seriously. That means that screenwriters would need to produce an interaction between Deadpool and another man that makes it clear that the protagonist’s same-sex interests are genuine, not just another outrageous lark. Even in comics, Deadpool’s ubiquitous homoerotic flirting is often played for laughs. What Deadpool 2 writers would need to do, then, is treat a same-sex romance with the same heart reserved for interactions between Wade and Vanessa in the original film.
Superhero comics have long allegorized the plight of marginalized groups, including LGBT people, without actually representing those marginalized groups. Seeing Deadpool get a serious same-sex love interest would mean the genre finally putting its money where its mouth is. Whether or not Deadpool 2 really does follow through on these teasing interviews remains to be seen, but we sincerely hope 2018 brings us this representational milestone.