Bring up cult comic book mercenary Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool these days, and you’ll get a variety of responses,: movie fans continue to hope that Ryan Reynolds will bring the character to life sooner rather than later, and due to recent developments, speculation on whether he may just appear in the upcoming X-Force.
But that wouldn’t be the first time Reynolds has played the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ on the big screen – even if fans have wiped X-Men Origins: Wolverine out of their memory. After years of criticism, the lead special effects designers responsible for the much-maligned take on Deadpool have come forward to explain the thinking behind the creation.
The first knee-jerk reaction to seeing veteran effects gurus Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. address their critics directly may be to finally let one’s own rage boil over, but the pair clearly have well-developed senses of humor. Beginning by addressing some of the fair (but foul-mouthed) issues voiced by many fans, the duo explain that no single person is responsible for the surgically-altered-and-mouthless Deadpool (a treatment the character himself apparently hates).
Nobody is going to claim that Deadpool fans overreacted to what was done to their beloved anti-hero in Origins – Gillis and Woodruff admit that fan backlash means a passionate audience, which is why they do what they do. The wise-cracking, fourth-wall-breaking gun for hire became a test subject, silent, gifted with laser vision and retractable katanas.
The pair of effects specialists are quick to explain that design decisions in major studio productions – especially those based on enormous comic book properties – aren’t made quickly, easily, or unanimously. That explanation even removes much of the fan hate from director Gavin Hood’s shoulders (for this particular element of the film, at least), but is the ‘abomination’ seen on screen simply a case of too many cooks in the kitchen?
It was never a secret that Fox had bigger plans for Deadpool than a brief appearance in Wolverine’s standalone adventure – the end credits teaser was proof. And according to the effects team, that plan for the future was also partly responsible for an underwhelming debut. The video explains the thinking behind the twisted, scarred make-up and appliances seen in the film, but it also sounds as if the Origins version of Deadpool would have eventually grown into the one fans had hoped for.
All fan anger aside, the good news is that the spoiled appearance doesn’t seem to have soured fans on either a Deadpool film, or Ryan Reynolds’ ability to do the character justice. But time doesn’t heal every wound, so although comic fans may have a faithful Deadpool movie to hope for (just awaiting Fox’s go-ahead), it won’t share any connection to the backstory attempted in Origins.
Regardless how long fans have to wait to see the Deadpool they know and love on the big screen, it’s nice to finally hear exactly what the thinking was behind the half-baked version seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And if nothing else, know who not to attack for trying to do the best they could given the circumstances.
Has this explanation from the effects designers helped to remove some of the sting, or are you still as enraged as the day the film released?
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.