Rob Liefeld is more than happy for Deadpool to enter the MCU - but only if Ryan Reynolds retains creative control. "If Ryan is not the guy who is helming that ship," he asked, "then who cares?"
In December of last year, Disney and Fox finalized a deal that would see the House of Mouse purchase the bulk of Fox's movie empire. Rob Liefeld, creator of Deadpool, wasn't initially enthused at the idea. He publicly urged Fox not to go ahead with the deal, clearly believing the Deadpool brand would be damaged. "This is your Star Wars franchise," Liefeld insisted, "and you've only scratched the surface." Public statements from Disney CEO Bob Iger reassured Liefeld, but he clearly still has concerns.
Speaking to Cinema Blend, Liefeld insisted Deadpool should only join the MCU on one condition:
"Only if Ryan [Reynolds] calls the shots. ... If Ryan is not the guy who is helming that ship, then who cares? If Ryan is given everything that he deserves, and they say 'You can do your own thing over here under Disney.'"
It certainly does seem to be the case that Ryan Reynolds has an unprecedented degree of influence over the Deadpool franchise. There are reports that the first film's success gave Reynolds the chance to renegotiate his contract for the sequel; not only did he earn a higher pay check, the actor also reportedly got casting approval and "other creative controls." It's generally believed this led to conflict between Reynolds and director Tim Miller, ultimately causing Miller to walk on the sequel.
In Liefeld's view, Reynolds is key to Deadpool's success. He believes Reynolds is "all but directing these movies." Liefeld doesn't accept that anybody else can possibly make the Merc With A Mouth work on the big screen, and he feels Marvel should recognize that. As the artist put it; "You look at Marvel, and there really only has been one captain of that ship. So I would hope that they go, 'Ryan, you have your own fleet of ship. They're right over here. We have the Santa Maria, and you have the S.S. Deadpool.'"
There's a sense in which Liefeld is overstating the case. Marvel's Phase 3 has seen the House of Ideas give their directors an unprecedented degree of leeway. Thor: Ragnarok may feature the destruction of Asgard, but it's quintessentially a Taika Waititi film, while Ryan Coogler left an indelible mark on Black Panther. Unlike the old Marvel Creative Committee, Kevin Feige believes in allowing his directors room to breathe. That's ensured every film has its own unique tone and style.
But would Marvel really be willing to allow one of their actors to have that degree of influence? It's impossible to know exactly what happened between Reynolds and Miller, but there's clearly already been creative conflict between the actor and the movies' directors. This would seem to be a recipe for still more conflict, and that may not be a smart move on Marvel's part.
For all he has his concerns, Liefeld couldn't help imagining the scene at Hall H or D23, with Ryan Reynolds stepping out to shake hands with Robert Downey Jr. "I mean, I think the world would go bazonkers," he declared. "And you know, having him interact with them, I think, is next level, billion dollar... I don't know how that doesn't work out spectacularly well."
Ironically, that particular level of integration may prove rather more problematic. Marvel and Disney may be happy to produce some R-rated superhero films should the purchase be approved by regulators, but would they really blend them into the mainstream MCU to this extent? The tone and style of Deadpool isn't exactly suited to the PG-13 MCU, and there will surely be concerns about damaging the brand. Disney CEO Bob Iger has promised that the X-Men will indeed enter the MCU should the deal be given the greenlight, and that there would be more Deadpool films down the road. However, Liefeld's comments give a hint at just how difficult those arrangements may actually be behind the scenes.
Source: Cinema Blend
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019
- Gambit (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
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