Ryan Reynolds' first attempt at headlining a comic book movie franchise, 2011's infamous Green Lantern, didn't exactly go as planned. Failing to impress critics (read our review) and making only $219.8 million worldwide at the box office, the hopeful franchise was over as quickly as it began. The results were so bad that Warner Bros. is waiting until 2020 to put the Green Lantern Corp. in another tentpole film.
Fortunately for the actor, his upcoming comic book flick Deadpool seems to be in much better shape. One of the big winners of this year's San Diego Comic-Con 2015, the long-awaited adaptation recently debuted two new trailers that have been enthusiastically received, and promise a film that's loyal to the source material in more ways than one.
The Merc with a Mouth has many defining traits, chief among them a wicked sense of humor and a penchant for breaking the fourth wall. Those bits were on display in the preview, with Reynolds' Wade Wilson pleading with his operators to not make his new super suit green or animated - an obvious jab at the maligned CGI costume from Green Lantern. But will the references to Hal Jordan stop there?
Breaking down the trailer with Empire, Deadpool director Tim Miller revealed additional Green Lantern related jokes were shot, but are unlikely to make the film's final cut. Instead, fans will have to wait until the home media release:
"We shot a few more Green Lantern jokes, but I’m not sure how many will survive the cut. Ryan definitely had some Green Lantern issues to work out. We had about a minute’s worth of dialogue between him and Colossus where he talks about it, like, ‘So a guy comes with a thousand-dollar suit and says, 'We want you to play a superhero,' but there’s no script yet and the release date is completely unmakeable…’ He goes on this whole anti-Green Lantern run, but I’m not sure it’ll stay in, because probably not even half the people in the theatres will get those jokes…that scene’s one for the DVD extras, for sure."
As fun as the comment on the Green Lantern suit is in the trailer, it's probably best for it to (presumably) be the only barb featured in the movie. Miller is right that many of the issues Reynolds had with that film are very inside baseball, meaning most audiences may not be privy to them. On the other hand, the CGI costume was a well-documented misfire that was mocked by the general public and comic book die-hards alike. That's a joke plenty of viewers will "get" right away, which may enhance the comedy of Deadpool.
Reynolds has made it clear how Deadpool differs from Green Lantern in terms of everything from the script to the practical costume, but it's smart for the sake of this film if it doesn't feature too much anti-Green Lantern commentary. The throwaway line about the suit is a nice nod to fans and earns a good laugh, however, if Wade Wilson continuously rants against what went wrong with that film, it could end up being distracting for viewers. Deadpool is supposed to crack wise about pop culture, but the movie also has its own story to tell and needs moviegoers focused on that narrative.
Though he probably took on the Hal Jordan role with nothing but the best intentions, Reynolds was obviously burned badly by how Green Lantern turned out. Much like George Clooney's retrospectives on Batman & Robin, the actor is looking to take this opportunity to apologize for the project and to do right by fans moving forward. As the trailers suggest, Deadpool is shaping up to be a rollicking good time at the theater, so hopefully Reynolds is over whatever issues he has with Green Lantern, so we can all enjoy his second foray as a superhero leading man.
Fantastic Four opens in theaters on August 7, 2015, followed by Deadpool on February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit on October 7, 2016; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; Fantastic Four 2 on June 9, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.