A few days back, we put up part one of "The Next X-Men Films" series, our look into the future of Fox Studio's growing and financially successful movie series based on Marvel's mighty mutants. This was based on quotes from Empire's recent feature on Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of all films X-Men related, and today we'll look at the other two anticipated films she spoke about.
In Part One we discussed Wolverine 2, the most-likely-to-happen solo flick out of Fox's development slate as well as X-Men: First Class, the prequel to Bryan Singer's first X-Men which is currently in its writing stages with Josh Schwartz penning the script.
After the financial success of Wolverine's solo prequel, we saw a quick greenlight for the Deadpool film and knew there'd be a Wolverine 2 down the road. Prior to this, X-Men: First Class, a team prequel to Bryan Singer's first X-Men was already in the works. So, we all knew those were the three go-to projects for Fox Studios to come the soonest. What I never felt sure about was X-Men Origins: Magneto, since it would involve a recast of title character and wouldn't tie-in too much with the franchise. That and the fact it would be based heavily during the holocaust made it less bankable as a superhero flick and more limited in playing with other popular mutants of the X-Men universe, especially compared to the other potential films they could create with those resources.
The first thing Donner said about the hopeful Ryan Reynolds starrer, Deadpool, is that it won't be based on the messed up version of what we saw in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. By that, she means Fox and/or the folks responsible for Hugh Jackman's solo title admittedly did a poor job of bring Deadpool to live-action.
"I want to ignore the version of Deadpool that we saw in Wolverine and just start over again. Reboot it. Because this guy talks, obviously, and to muzzle him would be insane."
Yeap. Almost as insane as giving the character lasers that shoot from his eyes or swords longer than his forearm that come out of his arm...
Not the Deadpool we like
The one big issue that came not long after hype for the Deadpool project started to build was the unexpected announcement that Ryan Reynolds would be starring as Hal Jordan in the DC Comics movie, Green Lantern. Why would Warner Brothers choose the lead of an upcoming Marvel-based movie as the lead in their upcoming DC-based movie? More importantly for fans, does this mean he can only do one or the other?
"I don't see it as a problem that Ryan [Reynolds] is also playing Green Lantern. I mean, look at Harrison Ford - he was in Stars Wars and Indiana Jones at the same time and everyone was fine with that. Green Lantern could not be more different to Wade Wilson. Green Lantern is a guy who finds a ring and is thrust into this world, much like Spider-Man. Wade Wilson is a guy who unfortunately gets cancer, and volunteers for a test that will give him healing powers. He is a bad ass, a wise-cracking mercenary, who will go out and kill anyone for money. But the thing about him is that, underneath it all, and he wouldn't want you to know this, sometimes he's not such a bad ass after all. Sometimes he does the right thing."
As a fan of Reynolds and of his portrayal of Wade Wilson (pre-surgery) from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I want to see them make a Deadpool flick, especially with Donner, Reynolds and Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld making statements that the project will stay true to the comics, bring his red & black costume, break the fourth wall and bring a ton of attention to why he's called the "Merc with the mouth."
With that said, what kind of style and story can we expect from a Deadpool film?
"It's going to be a dark, snarky, very funny movie. It's the hardest story to tell, I think. There's no clear cut villain - though you do have great baddies from the comic-books like Black Tom, Slayback, Blind Al and the Weasel. Blind Al is this blind woman in his house, who he abuses and mocks… it's terrible. But you find out that she was a convict who did something terrible and he saved her from execution. So he lets her live in his house and she looks after him, but they both torture each other. Anyway, there are good stories and we're figuring out which ones to incorporate."
Lastly, Donner touched on where they are in pre-production for the flick and re-iterates that they're really trying to push new boundaries in the comic book movie genre with this project.
"We're right in the thick of talking to writers right now, and hopefully by November we'll have decided who's going to do it. We need someone really imaginative because we want to do some really innovative, ambitious stuff. Ryan's mentioned this in an interview already but there are parts where he's going to break the fourth wall and talk directly to the audience in the cinema. We have to work out how to do that. I don't know that Fox will agree with all our decisions, but we'll see!"
Unfortunately, she ended with the statement about Fox's approval. Uh oh. Maybe we won't see any fourth wall breakage and maybe they won't have Deadpool wearing his mask after all. For once, I think fans need to see the folks responsible for production of the film to have more creative control. I'd love to see what the Donner, Reynolds and the writing team come up with if given complete creative freedom.
We'll have to wait and see.