It’s a big time for comic fans who want to see their favorite characters grace the silver screen. With plenty of major comic book films debuting to widespread success in recent years, it’s no surprise that there are dozens more of these genre films in production or development as we speak.
Some major ones have made big strides in recent weeks, confirming dates and announcing casting decisions, and we expect some more of that soon with San Diego Comic-Con around the corner.
Join me as I try to make sense of a large mess of comic book movie news involving my one of my favorites, Ryan Reynolds (Plus: 2 pieces of awesome fan art!).
Several films that I’ve been following closely and expecting to make casting decisions this month and last are Thor and Green Lantern – both of which are planned for releases in the early part of summer 2011.
Luckily for us fans, I was right and we’ve seen several of the key characters for Marvel Studios’ Thor movie been cast and following in suit, DC’s counterpart movie which has been moving along the same trend in development and casting timing, Green Lantern, finally made its lead star casting decision last week.
The man who will play Hal Jordan in the upcoming Warner Brothers DC Comics film is Ryan Reynolds.
That’s not all though. Screen Rant has also been closely following other Marvel film franchises that have their licenses owned by other studios, such as Fox’s X-Men movies and there’s been some major developments there as well… also involving Ryan Reynolds.
As we all know, Reynolds played a part in X-Men Origins: Wolverine which opened in May to financially successful results. Critics everywhere and a large portion of the fans did not share in that success however.
As I’ve been reporting on all along, leading up to the film, we all thought Reynolds was a perfect selection to play the role of Wade Wilson/Deadpool in that movie and we hoped, as Reynolds did, that the character would get his own spinoff.
Unfortunately, the makers behind the Wolverine Origins film messed up the character and his storyline but on the positive side, in the few minutes we saw Reynolds playing Wade Wilson on screen, he was spectacular and easily one of the best parts of the film.
As a result, a Deadpool Solo spinoff movie was given the greenlight and Reynolds now has the opportunity to deliver what he wants from the character and what the fans want. From what Reynolds has been saying all along, they seem to match up very well.
In interviews everywhere for X-Men Origins: Wolverine prior to its release, and then after with the announcement of the go-ahead with Deadpool during interviews for his recent and successful romantic comedy, The Proposal (with Sandra Bullock), he’s been making confirmations about the movie for the fans left right and center.
He’s already said the film will closely follow the comics, that he’s been given a lot of control over the movie with Fox studios apparently also wanting to respect the source material closely with this one.
He’s also confirmed that the movie will feature Deadpool in his trademark red and black duds and that the character will be breaking the fourth wall in the movie like he does in the comics, interacting with the audience directly, knowing full well that he is in fact in a film.
Reynolds as Wade Wilson in one of Wolverine’s sweet action sequences
So, when news broke the other day that Ryan Reynolds was selected to play the lead role in Green Lantern, it was a surprising announcement to say the least. Not because I don’t think he fits the role (I actually think he’ll be amazing in that movie), but because he wasn’t one of the many long-rumored candidates for the role in the months leading up to the announcement.
When the leading three candidates were named as Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper and Reynolds, I had a strong feeling they wouldn’t go with Timberlake, and Reynolds I hadn’t heard anything about in regards to the movie. I thought with the growing stardom of Bradley Cooper and his madly successful summer with The Hangover, he’d be ripe to hit it big as the lead in a major feature film.
I was wrong but I’m happy about it.
The other big reason why this was unexpected is because there’s been a lot of comic book movie news surrounding the Canadian star this year already, but it was all about his role as Deadpool in that movie property from that other big Comic publisher.
So now, he’s planned to lead a Marvel-based film and a DC film… at the same time. All of this of course occurring while his wife suits up in tight black leather with her multi-picture contract with Marvel Studios, playing Black Widow. We got our first look of Scarlett in costume yesterday and she’s looking good from what we’re seeing.
X-Men Origins: Deadpool (as I’ll call it for now) is arguably the most anticipated movie out of Fox’s X-Men movies in development. The others being X-Men: First Class, Wolverine 2, a Gambit spinoff and X-Men Origins: Magneto.
How will this announcement of his involvement with Green Lantern affect the production of Deadpool?
More importantly, which will be chosen to come first by Reynolds if he has to prioritize one over the other? He has already started down the path with Deadpool and he’s passionate about the character and the comics.
On the other side, Green Lantern already reportedly has a massive $150 million budget allocated for it, and it could be the start of a new series of DC films that share a continuity along similar lines of what Marvel Studios is currently doing, leading up to the Avengers team-up. We keep hearing that Clark Kent will have an appearance in the movie but there’s no word on another Superman flick at the moment and Brandon Routh’s contract with WB has just expired so that may prove difficult.
Both of Reynold’s characters are relatively unknown to mainstream moviegoers, so both projects are a little risky for that reason, let alone the styles of each movie. Green Lantern will have a lot of extreme extra-terrestrial stuff going on which may not fly with all audiences and Deadpool will be attempting to speak to the camera.
I’m confident Reynolds on-screen persona and growing stardom will overcome these obstacles and turn both into something amazing for the fans and the studios.
Ryan Reynolds to star in Indie flick, Buried
Ideally, they’ll be able to schedule enough time for both projects to release as planned, but that will prove difficult if both are set for a 2011 release and both are big budget summer fare. Reynolds already suffered through schedule limitations for his involvement in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and had to finish scenes after principal photography had ended so he could be more than just a cameo in the flick.
Since Deadpool has no director or writer yet, let alone an official production schedule, I presume that the Martin Campbell–directed Green Lantern will start first. Not to mention that it already has several drafts of the screenplay done.
Let’s not forget, Reynolds was also just announced to be starring in an independent film called Buried which will see the talented actor stuck in a coffin all by himself for the entire length of the film. That’s expected to be finished for a debut next year and he’s just about to start filming that (or already has…).
As an Indie flick, the shoot for that film will be quite short so that’ll be workable into his schedule, especially if he’s starting this month – it’ll be done before the others even start. These other two biggies though involve a ton of shooting and even more press-related stuff.
Call me selfish, I want both movies and I want them both done right and not rushed (unlike Wolverine which clearly was). One person who’s pumped about the idea of Reynolds getting the Hal Jordan gig is Deadpool creator, Rob Liefeld who had this to say on his twitter account after the news broke:
“Deadpool as Green Lantern? Sounds good to me!! The Deadpool budget just got bigger fo sho.”
If I get a chance to speak with Reynolds at San Diego Comic-Con next week, I’ll be sure to ask how Green Lantern will affect the Deadpool film and when we’ll be seeing it.
For those of you excited about the recent Ryan Reynolds news, here are two awesome pieces of fan art of the Canadian star in costume as the Green Lantern!
The following poster comes from Screen Rant reader, Josh Thomas:
A poster by Josh Thomas [Click to Enlarge]
Awesome work Josh, thanks for sending it in!
And last but not least, /Film was forwarded to a fan-made photo by Josh MC of Reynolds in full costume as Green Lantern and it looks amazing:
Incredibly realistic artwork by Josh MC [Click to Enlarge and see the detail]
Are you excited to see Reynolds bring Deadpool and Green Lantern to the big screen, and which are you more looking forward to?
Green Lantern is scheduled to open June 17, 2011 with a production start of next January, and X-Men Origins: Deadpool is tentatively planned also for a 2011 release.