We're still a few weeks out from the theatrical release of the first non-Wolverine solo character X-Men movie from Twentieth Century Fox and as per usual, a lot of attention is already focused on potential sequels and tie-ins. Deadpool is a unique project for the studio that underwent an equally unique development process but unlike last year's Marvel licensed franchise launch in Fantastic Four, the studio and the film's team has confidence this time and aren't hiding.
They have so much confidence in fact, that Deadpool was screened yesterday for fans in New York and Los Angeles. That only happens when a studio knows they have a potential hit on their hands, one that fans and influencers can see early to ideally help spread the word. And it's working. The buzz is already building towards Ryan Reynolds next potential appearance as the "Merc with a Mouth."
Reynolds made a surprise appearance at the NY screening and stuck around afterward to chat with the audience. Responding to a question about whether or not Deadpool can open the door for more R-rated big franchise comic book films, Reynolds responded:
"I think it has to, I hope so. There are a lot of superhero movies out there on the market. It’s a genre unto itself. I personally would like to see more rated R ones. I just think it’s time. We’ll see if this holds. Hollywood shamefully copycats every movie that works – so if this does work, you’ll probably see more rated R films!"
"I don’t think you’re going to see a rated R Avengers movie, but there’s room for other ones. I think there’s room for a rated R X-Force movie!"
R rated comic book films aren't new of course, from 300, Watchmen, and Kick-Ass to the Punisher and Blade, but in the modern era of cinematic Marvel and DC Comics universes, they don't exist. That is, they haven't until February when Deadpool becomes the first ever Marvel property from Fox to carry the R rating.
This isn't the first time Reynolds has suggested X-Force as a desired film project. Last summer while beginning the marketing campaign for Deadpool, the Canadian actor told CB at San Diego Comic-Con that he wanted to share the screen again with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine but that scheduling was an issue for that to happen on this flick. Instead, he suggested that reunion could happen in a team-up movie instead, specifically an X-Force movie where his Deadpool character can be the "wild card" under the leadership of Cable - the time-travelling mutant and buddy of Deadpool who fans have been waiting years to see on the big screen.
As we discussed earlier, Reynolds also teased yesterday during the same Q&A session that there are indeed discussions behind-the-scenes about bringing Cable in next - a sentiment that's been shared to us repeatedly by Deadpool director Tim Miller, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and producer Simon Kinberg.
If Deadpool becomes a critical and financial hit when it releases in a few weeks time, Deadpool 2 is a given and that's something the writers are excited to tackle before seeing the character enlist in teams. If the R-rating holds back the box office too much though, Reynolds' Wade Wilson will likely appear in a team-up next and that could very well be X-Force or another core X-Men installment (Bryan Singer's reportedly making another in Montreal for 2018) but the former might have to wait until Josh Boone's New Mutants debuts since that preceded the original X-Force in Marvel Comics.
Tim Miller directs the film from a screenplay by Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. It is produced by Simon Kinberg, Lauren Shuler Donner, and Ryan Reynolds, starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, Gina Carano, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, and Leslie Uggams.
Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Deadpool opens in theaters February 12, 2016; X-Men: Apocalypse on May 27, 2016; Gambit sometime in 2017; Wolverine 3 on March 3, 2017; and some as-yet unspecified X-Men film on July 13, 2018. The New Mutants is also in development.