Fox’s proposed Deadpool movie has been the red and black elephant in the room ever since Warner Bros. expressed their immediate desire to move forward with a Green Lantern sequel - and hinted a third film would follow closely after.
Evidently, there could be more to the rumblings than WB’s confidence in the film - they could be trying to prevent star Ryan Reynolds from simultaneously starring in two comic book film franchises.
Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld has taken to Twitter to express his frustration over the situation with a series of tweets that suggest Fox may be forced to move forward on Deadpool with a new lead actor, or worse - no movie at all.
It should be noted this is only speculation on Liefeld’s part, and while he’s certainly in the know at Fox, it’s unlikely he has any knowledge of what’s being discussed behind closed doors at Warner Bros. That being said, Liefeld states:
“Warner Bros. just trying to protect their investment. They don't want Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool AND Green Lantern. Interesting 2 watch.”
Reynolds is a hot property, becoming attached to one film after another (most recently R.I.P.D. and Safe House), and Liefeld is certainly attempting to swirl up support that'll help keep Deadpool a priority. Liefeld has been re-tweeting headlines with comments such as “Good God! It never ends!” - seemingly insinuating that Deadpool was already in for a tough squeeze, even before plans for Green Lantern 2 were announced. As Liefeld so bluntly puts it:
“If FOX blows this one, they'll have to ask "How did we start at the finish line and get pushed all the way back to the starting gate??"
Warner Bros. definitely has the upper hand here. Green Lantern has already wrapped and a writer is already hard at work on Green Lantern 2. Meanwhile Deadpool continues to linger in development with the only real piece of recent news being that Robert Rodriguez might direct. Reynolds' availability is quickly evaporating a bit more each day and Fox is going to have to put up, or shut up, if they’re serious about getting Deadpool made.
I’m not the only one who saw this coming - the second Reynolds was cast in Green Lantern. Part of me wants to believe that because Reynolds loves the Deadpool character he’ll attempt to make it work. I’d also like to believe that if the studio has to wait for Reynolds, they will.
But this is Fox. Remember how important it was for them to rush X-Men: The Last Stand into production because of the studio's grudge against Bryan Singer? Their bruised egos played a part in how terrible that film turned out and I wouldn't put it past them to make a similar mistake with Deadpool.
If Rodriguez does indeed sign on to direct Deadpool, they can easily sell the movie with his name, even if they lose Reynolds - assuming a Deadpool film without Reynolds is something Rodriguez would even be interested in. If Fox loses both of them, then who knows - it could put Deadpool on hold for an indefinite amount of time.
Rodriguez is known for an incredibly fast turn-around time on his films, so if there’s anyone that could deliver this movie with Reynolds’ tricky availability, it’s Rodriguez. Personally, that’s the only way I could see Deadpool working out at this point. Which leaves us with three likely scenarios:
- 1) A Deadpool movie that’s rushed into production to accommodate Reynolds.
- 2) Fox losing interest if Reynolds isn’t involved and the film getting stuck in development hell for the foreseeable future.
- 3) A new actor cast in the role.
I know I’m going to get eaten alive for what I’m about to say, so let me start with this: we can all agree that Ryan Reynolds is the top choice for Deadpool.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s the only actor that could do it. As good as he’d be, we’ve seen him play this type of character so many times before - it’s something he could do with his eyes closed. I’m not saying that’s a good reason for him to take a pass - I just think it represents an inability on our part to think outside of the box. Heath Ledger would never have been my first choice for the Joker in The Dark Knight. Just saying.
I don’t believe that recasting is the ideal solution (even though they’re trying to establish a different continuity than X-Men Origins: Wolverine) - I just know that many fans will take this news as if it’s the end of the world - and forgive me, I'm just not one of them. I’m sure there are many actors out there qualified to deliver an interesting take on the character. Fortunately or unfortunately, Reynolds was just the most obvious.
Ultimately, the real problem would be that no matter how good another actor could be in the role, having already been teased with the notion of Reynolds as Deadpool, many people would whine forever about how much better the film would have been with him.
If we’re talking about a Deadpool movie without Reynolds then I’ll be disappointed, but I won’t lose all hope. If we’re talking about the entire film being buried just because Fox couldn’t get their act together - well, that’s a whole other story.
Decisions will need to be made very quickly and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.