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That Time Ryan Reynolds Tried To Make A Deadpool Movie BEFORE X-Men Origins

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool for GQ

Ryan Reynolds First Got Involved In 2004

Though the X-Men may join the MCU soon, the rights of the various characters has led to plenty of confusion—and even delayed Deadpool at one point. While the folktale is that Ryan Reynolds first became interested in Deadpool thanks to a certain comic panel, his involvement with the project began a little sooner. In April of 2004, Deadpool and Cable #2 featured a joke where Wade says he looks like “Ryan Renolds [sic] crossed with a shar-pei.” Reynolds himself has said he loved the joke and it made him want to play the character, but he was involved even before then.

In February of 2004, IGN spoke with David Goyer who was in the midst of making Blade: Trinity with Reynolds. Though the film ended up not being as well-received as the previous two, it proved Reynolds could handle action and comedy. Meanwhile, Marvel was trying to move forward on a Deadpool film which Goyer was attached to direct and co-write with Mark Millar. Though that team-up would have been interesting, it never quite manifested. In fact, Goyer himself even claims there were some rights issues with Deadpool’s connection to Weapon X. Still, Goyer had already begun speaking with Reynolds about the role and the two were actively working on the project.

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It wasn’t until 2008 with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, however, that more of the story emerged. MTV spoke with Jeff Katz a decade ago, and the 20th Century Fox executive claimed to have been part of the plan with Goyer and Reynolds since 2004. According to Katz, even then the rights over Deadpool and his connection to Fox and the X-Men were unclear, and it seems as if that confusion and the desire to spinoff the Blade franchise ultimately nixed the New Line version of Deadpool.

Luckily, Reynolds stayed attached to the character and helped bring a version of him to life in X-Men Origins. But even with the film—and iteration of Wade Wilson—being poorly received, fans were now eager to see a proper Deadpool on the big screen, and Reynolds and Fox were still game to make it happen.

The Deadpool Movie Was In Development From Origins' Opening Weekend

With Reynolds attached to Deadpool for so long and both Marvel Studios and Fox interested in the anti-hero leading his own film, the actor was cast in X-Men Origins: Wolverine with an eye to spin him off into his own film. That plan became more active during the opening weekend of the film, when THR reported a Deadpool movie was in development staring Reynolds.

Anyone who remembers the movie will recall that the extremely altered take on Deadpool was shown to be alive during the end credits, setting up a sequel. As THR explains, all of the changes to the character were meant to be undone and the idea was to make sure Deadpool was much funnier and broke the fourth wall. So as early as 2009, plans were once again in place for a Deadpool movie, this time with Fox leading the charge.

Though things morphed a bit over the years, it’s essentially that same movie that slowly grew until it brought aboard visual effects supervisor Tim Miller as the creatives directorial debut. He and Reynolds would then craft the test footage that leaked a few years later and convinced Fox to finally pull the trigger and begin production on the film. Flash-forward to 2018, and Ryan Reynolds is mocking Blade: Trinity and Deadpool 2 is poised to be a massive hit in a franchise that doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

MORE: Deadpool 2's Incredible End-Credits Scene Explained

Key Release Dates
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
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