The journey to making a Deadpool movie was a long, rocky road. For years, Ryan Reynolds and his collaborators tried their best to get Fox's attention, but the studio wouldn't budge. In the end, it took a calculated leak to rally the army of fans and garner the execs' interest.
"Once the test footage leaked, that created a groundswell of support. And the studio responded to that groundswell by saying, 'Okay, here's the absolute bare minimum amount of money that we will give this character. Let us know when the movie's done,'" Reynolds revealed to GQ. "When the Thursday midnight numbers were so excessive that I just went, 'Whoa.' We made our production budget back on Friday. There's a certain vindication that comes with that."
The movie raked in $783 million from a budget of $58 million, while the sequel, Deadpool 2, brought in $734 million from a $110 million investment. These figures are nothing to sniff at and have turned the Merc with the Mouth into a global franchise, with a fervent fanbase.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest reasons for the franchise's success was the chemistry between cast members. Some of the actors chosen for their respective parts were so spot-on that you couldn't think of anyone better to replace them. Much like anything in life, however, nothing is ever perfect. There were also some duds in the casting department. Thankfully, the films' financial and critical successes prove that they didn't impact the franchise all too much.
With that said, let's look at the 9 Casting Decisions That Hurt The Deadpool Movies (And 11 That Saved It).
20 Hurt: T.J. Miller (Weasel)
The initial casting of T.J. Miller as Weasel had most people on the fence. Miller's brand of comedy has always been divisive. After 2016's Deadpool, several accusations were made about Miller. He was arrested for assaulting an Uber driver in December 2016 and made a false bomb threat in April 2018. Aside from that, an even more disturbing allegation from his college years surfaced.
Deadpool 2 had pretty much wrapped by the time that most of these things got out, but it might've been wise to remove Miller from the movie altogether.
In a New York Times profile, Ryan Reynolds refused to comment on the accusations, but he did confirm that Miller won't be a part of X-Force.
19 Saved: Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
While there are many people to thank for Deadpool's success, it wouldn't have happened without Ryan Reynolds. If he hadn't pushed so hard at Fox, we would never have seen this character in his own movie. Fortunately, there seems to be no imminent danger of Reynolds abandoning the role in the near future, either, as he's reaffirmed his love for the Merc with the Mouth.
"I would love to play Deadpool for as long as they would let me play Deadpool," he said to Variety. "We have outlines and stories for a number of different films." Reynolds is passionate about Wade Wilson, and that's all you could ask for. Much like Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, Reynolds will always be Deadpool.
18 Hurt: Jack Kesy (Black Tom Cassidy)
In another universe, Jack Kesy's Black Tom Cassidy was a major antagonist of Deadpool 2. There are rumors that earlier edits featured a more prominent part for the villain, but the studio decided to re-calibrate and focus more on Cable and Russell Collins.
Black Tom is meant to be a formidable opponent and a mutant with impressive powers; however, in the movie, he was relegated to a few cultural appropriation jokes. Kesy didn't look comfortable in the part, either. Kesy is more renowned for his drama work, so this seemed like a strange fit from the start. Who knows, maybe in a different edit of the movie, he showed that he was a great Black Tom. We'll never know.
17 Saved: Josh Brolin (Cable)
The role of Cable was a coveted one. Heck, even Stephen Lang campaigned hard for the part, but it ended up going to Josh Brolin. Unlike most comic book movie castings, the reaction towards Brolin's announcement was almost universally positive.
It goes to show that the moviegoers appreciate his talents and knew he'd crush it.
As it turns out, we owe a big thank you to Brolin's wife, Kathryn Boyd, for encouraging him to read the script and accept the part. "My wife just said, 'read it, like why are you even thinking, just read it,' and I read it and I laughed harder than I've laughed in a very long time," Brolin told Good Morning America.
16 Hurt: Gina Carano (Angel Dust)
Remember the time when vlogger John Campea suggested that Gina Carano should've been Wonder Woman instead of Gal Gadot? Ah, good times. While Carano undoubtedly has an impressive physique and looked fearsome as Angel Dust, she lacks the small acting nuances to make her characters believable. There's something missing in her portrayals.
For the most part, Carano has appeared in direct-to-video action roles – hey, everyone's got to eat, and there's nothing wrong with it. These parts, however, haven't contained highly developed characters – mostly just one-dimensional parts. In order for her to develop her skills, she'd need to step out of the action box and take on more challenging gigs. This is where the real character development work starts.
15 Saved: Zazie Beetz (Domino)
When the first photos of Zazie Beetz as Domino dropped online, the usual suspects whined about the color of the actress' skin. Apparently, it's a valuable exercise to moan about fictional characters, instead of channeling your efforts into the real-world crises outside. As expected, though, the German-born actress blew everyone away in Deadpool 2 and many fans can't wait to see her again in Drew Goddard's X-Force movie.
Chatting to Refinery29, Beetz revealed what she'd like for Domino in future films. "To explore her past more, because I think it's super interesting. The darkness within that would be a cool thing to explore for her character. Especially since she comes across as so light. There's more behind that," she said.
14 Hurt: Bill Skarsgård (Zeitgeist)
The success of It has turned Bill Skarsgård into a Hollywood sensation. While his famous surname helped him land gigs before, he's now standing on his own two feet as an actor. Unfortunately, he's also getting typecast as the creepy character in everything he does now, as the role of Pennywise only reinforced his ability to play this trope. The part of Zeitgeist had him portraying a mutant with the superpower of acid vomit. Most audience members rolled their eyes at this, since it's the role you'd expect for him.
Well, Deadpool 2 had other plans for its X-Force, and Skarsgård had a blink-and-you'd-miss-it appearance.
It was a real waste of his talents, if you ask us.
13 Saved: Karan Soni (Dopinder)
Even though Deadpool pushes the boundaries of decency, there was always the danger that the Dopinder character could end up becoming an offensive stereotype. Yet, Dopinder actually played a bigger and important part of the narrative in Deadpool 2. The success of the character is down to actor Karan Soni, who possesses impeccable comedic timing.
Speaking about his expanded role in Deadpool 2, Soni told the Hindustan Times: "I honestly was like 'oh, I hope I can pull this off.' But it was really fun and it was nice of Ryan [Reynolds] to put me in the film a lot more. I personally loved working with him as well as with new cast members Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz."
12 Hurt: Hayley Sales (Cable's Wife)
The fact that Cable's wife didn't even have a name in Deadpool 2 says it all. The importance of the character was diminished in favor of showing Cable being more rattled by his daughter, Hope's, passing than his partner's. Portraying Cable's wife was actress-musician Hayley Sales, who's more renowned for her music in Canada than she is for her acting. To be blunt, Deadpool 2 shows us why.
While her on-screen time was minimal, she didn't bring anything to the part. Even her shielding of Hope from the blaze felt highly forced and unnatural. We're not saying that a big name was needed for the part, but it would've helped had the person had a bit more credibility as an actor.
11 Saved: Morena Baccarin (Vanessa)
Morena Baccarin is quickly becoming the queen of superhero roles. Not only is she Vanessa Carlysle in Deadpool, but she's also Leslie Thompkins in Gotham. The thing about Vanessa is that she needed chemistry with Wade Wilson to shine, since she acts as a moral compass for him. Fortunately, Baccarin and Ryan Reynolds have it in abundance.
Speaking to Popsugar, Baccarin explained that the couple's disregard for Wade's disfigured appearance is what makes their relationship special.
"It speaks to the love that these characters have for each other. It isn't about looks. Yeah, they're both attractive, they're both into each other, but it goes beyond external qualities," she said. "They're honest with themselves and each other."
10 Hurt: Rob Delaney (Peter)
Undoubtedly, we're going to get a lot of stick for this, but Deadpool 2's Peter was pretty pointless. It was one long-running gag that the writers thought we'd be laughing at for months on end, but it wasn't that funny in the first place.
Actor-comedian Rob Delaney was wrong for the part as well. You see, most comedy fans know about Delaney and what he's capable of doing. He's extremely funny and even if you stick a mustache on him, you know it's still him underneath the furry lip. The intentions for Peter were undoubtedly noble, but it's an example of how not every joke in your head will resonate the same way in the actual movie.
9 Saved: Ed Skrein (Ajax)
When Deadpool came around, Ed Skrein needed a hit. He'd been replaced by Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones and his starring role in The Transporter Refueled didn't reinvigorate that franchise either. Then he was cast as the lesser-known Deadpool villain Francis Freeman, aka Ajax. Thankfully, he knocked it out of the park. Ajax's disdain of the Merc with the Mouth and his action scenes with the titular hero were epic.
Chatting with Esquire, Skrein gushed about the movie and fan response. "All the vibes that have come off the movie – whether it's the paparazzi shots they've seen, or the social media marketing that Ryan's released – it's been the right tone for the fans. It's exactly what they wanted [for] Deadpool."
8 Saved: Stefan Kapičić (Colossus)
Oddly enough, the previous X-Men movies chose to portray Colossus as a someone who wasn't from Russia. Why, we'll never know. Fortunately, Deadpool did right by the character, in terms of his CGI appearance and his voice as performed by Stefan Kapičić, who actually does speak Colossus' native language among others.
It was the Colossus fans had been crying out for – not that wallflower from X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Speaking to Latino-Review Media, Kapičić discussed his love of comic books and his understanding of Colossus. "[He's] that old-school superhero that everybody needs in a way, because I like to say that Colossus is, in a way, Marvel’s response to a Superman-kind of character, you know? Colossus… Man of Steel, but the original Man of Steel," he said.
7 Saved: Julian Dennison (Russell)
There was a lot of debate about which character Julian Dennison would be portraying in Deadpool 2. A rumor did the rounds saying that he'd be a younger Apocalypse. Ultimately, he ended up playing Russell "Rusty" Collins, aka Firefist, a fire-happy mutant.
In the case of Firefist, he never was a big-time player in the comic books and even X-Men: The Animated Series. So, the bar was set really low for Dennison in the movie. Proving that he may very well be the next big thing, Dennison transformed the so-so mutant into a bona-fide superstar. Everyone wants more of Russell. Hopefully, the upcoming X-Force movie will give us more time with this fascinating and intriguing mutant.
6 Hurt: Shioli Kutsuna (Yukio)
In 2013's The Wolverine, Rila Fukushima portrayed Yukio and she was fantastic in the movie. In fact, she was so fantastic that many predicted she'd be back in a future X-Men instalment. In Deadpool 2, however, Yukio is played by Shiori Kutsuna. Unlike the previous iteration of the character, this version spends most of the time saying "Hi, Wade!" and showing up whenever Negasonic Teenage Warhead appears on screen. In fact, Kutsuna doesn't do much more than that in the entire movie.
All of th character development and progress from The Wolverine is washed away as Yukio becomes a parody of herself. While several X-Men characters have benefitted from being reimagined in the Deadpool universe, Yukio isn't one of them.
5 Saved: Brianna Hildebrand (Negasonic Teenage Warhead)
Before Deadpool, if you'd mentioned Negasonic Teenage Warhead to the average person, their response would've been a raised eyebrow. For all intents and purposes, this character shouldn't work on the big screen. Yet, Brianna Hildebrand's portrayal of the character as a moody teenager worked.
The dynamic of her too-cool-for-school demeanor and Wade Wilson's clownish tendencies brought something fresh to the movie.
Speaking to Refinery29, Hildebrand admitted that she's different from the character she portrays but found it fun. "It was easy to give the [evil] looks. It was cool to hone in on her insecurities and how they actually affect this persona that she tries to project. She is so cool and doesn't care, but obviously she really cares inside," she said.
4 Hurt: Eddie Marsan (Headmaster)
Make no mistake about it: Eddie Marsan is a fantastic actor. He's criminally underrated and his performance on Ray Donovan is one of the best on TV. However, his gig as the headmaster on Deadpool 2 just didn't click. The character's motives felt very much like the moustache-twirling bad guy trope and there wasn't ever a sense of true menace when he was around.
If Marsan had been revealed to have been Mister Sinister at the end of it all, then it would've been an ah-ha moment for the ages. Unfortunately, his character wasn't even important enough to get a name in this movie. Marsan deserved better than what he got here and will hopefully redeem himself in another superhero movie.
3 Saved: Ryan Reynolds (Juggernaut)
While Juggernaut became one of the biggest internet memes after X-Men: The Last Stand, there was a hope that he'd receive better treatment in another live-action movie. His appearance in Deadpool 2 was kept hush-hush, but when he appeared, there can be no doubt that it delighted X-Men fans.
Portraying Juggernaut was Ryan Reynolds, who's undoubtedly the best person to bring this over-the-top character to life. There's nothing serious about Cain Marko. He's a massive villain with a silly helmet and some of the best one-liners in comic book history. Naturally, Reynolds succeeded with this. Reynolds even shocked his co-star Stefan Kapičić, who didn't know he was playing Juggernaut as well. He only found out when he saw him put on the mocap suit.
2 Hurt: Michael Benyaer (Warlord)
Look, not every character can be a superstar in a movie. There's a need for supporting roles and even minor ones. In the case of the warlord, portrayed by Michael Benyaer, it was rather pointless.
Benyaer is better known for his voice acting roles, but his performance here didn't show off any of his abilities.
With someone of his caliber and reputation in that space, you'd think that he would've had a little more time to show off what he can do in front of the camera as well. Well, for Benyaer, it's another live-action credit to add to his others, which include appearances in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra.
1 Saved: Leslie Uggams (Blind Al)
When Deadpool was announced, many longtime fans called for the inclusion of Blind Al. The character has become such a pivotal part of Wade Wilson's story that it'd be criminal if she weren't included in the movie.
Thankfully, she was – and the award-winning actress Leslie Uggams didn't mess around with her portrayal of this wild and wacky character. It was her no-nonsense approach to Wade that endeared her to the audience. "I think the great thing about their relationship is that she doesn't take any of his BS. She just lets him know exactly what the deal is and she doesn't try to sugarcoat anything. That's why they get along so well," Uggams told Fanfest.
Were there any other casting decisions in the Deadpool movies that you liked or disliked? Let us know in the comments!