Ryan Reynolds On Why Deadpool Succeeded & Green Lantern Failed

Ryan Reynolds - Green Lantern and Deadpool

Deadpool was one of 2016’s most surprising hits. The R-rated superhero flick smashed expectations across the board, garnering widespread praise and grossing over $363 million against a $58 million budget in the U.S. alone. It also quickly pushed a sequel into the pipeline — an impressive feat given that it took the first film roughly a decade to make it to screen.

Its success was unprecedented for a variety of reasons. It centered around a Marvel character that wasn’t exactly a household name, was helmed by a relatively unknown director - and its star, Ryan Reynolds, had bombed in a superhero movie only five years prior. In fact, the Reynolds-led Green Lantern had quadruple the budget of Deadpool and a far better-known director — Martin Campbell — but was a proper critical and commercial flop. So what was different for Reynolds the second time around?

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor attributes it to a lack of direction. As he told the publication:

“Well it’s simple: Deadpool always knew what it was. With Green Lantern, I don’t think anyone ever figured out exactly what it was. That isn’t to say the hundreds of men and women didn’t work their fingers to the bone to make it as good as possible. It also fell victim to the process in Hollywood which is like poster first, release date second, script last. At the time, it was a huge opportunity for me so I was excited to try and take part in it. I did however write a letter to Fox right before I had to decide whether or not I was gonna do Green Lantern. I asked one last time sort of like the groom standing at the alter, ‘Will you please be my wife?’ and they said they couldn’t pull the trigger on Deadpool. For too many reasons too boring to illustrate, it just didn’t work.”

Deadpool Ryan Reynolds Cinema

In comparison to Green Lantern, Deadpool was very much a passion project for all involved. Reynolds had to fight to get it made at every step along the way. The title character, a foul-mouthed, anarchic miscreant, was the antithesis of what most “heroes” represented, and studios were hesitant about how it would play against the more traditional superhero stories.

To their astonishment, it shook up on-screen comics for the better, and audiences flocked to its fresh, comedic take. Perhaps the problem with Green Lantern was simply that it stayed too safe. Deadpool was a risk, to be sure, but it’s one that certainly paid off. Thus,we now get to look ahead to Deadpool 2: a sequel that will reportedly begin production in June 2017, keeping it on course to arrive in theaters by 2018. We'll let you know when the Deadpool sequel gets an official release date, of course.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Key Release Dates
  • Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
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