#Deadpool was a hit that we needed in the glut of huge, big budget comic book movies: A small, R-rated action movie about a relatively unknown comic book character. And, as it happens with everything worthwhile, there was a long, hard road to get there. Wade Wilson himself, #RyanReynolds, sat down with GQ for an in-depth interview for their "Man of the Year" issue. He gave us a greater insight into the making of the most successful R-rated movie of all time.
#WadeWilson was first introduced to live action in 2009, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Fans were upset at the treatment of the character, which included him never using his iconic suit, having Wolverine-like blades come out of his hands and, worst of all, a sealed mouth. Fortunately for everyone, that was only the first step in giving the Merc with a Mouth the movie he deserved.
A Disaster In The Making
With the public's desire for a #Wolverine movie, Fox scrambled to get X-Men Origins: Wolverine together. As we know from past experiences, rushing a superhero movie doesn't always work well. But, let's let Deadpool explain what was happening:
"It was during a writers’ strike, so all my dialogue in X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wrote. I mean, in the stage directions it just said, “Deadpool shows up, talks really fast, and makes a lot of jokes.” At the beginning of that movie, that’s pretty close to Deadpool’s Wade Wilson—we’re in the ballpark with that guy."
It seems the studio and filmmakers (at the beginning, at least) were going down the right path with Deadpool. In fact, one of the few praised aspects about Origins was Reynold's portrayal of Wade Wilson during the film's first act. Unfortunately, it all fell apart rather quickly:
"It completely departed all canon and reason and he wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that... The conversation at the time was 'If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.'”
Fortunately for him, his concerns about the character were proven right shortly after, due to Origins leaking online weeks before the movie was officially released:
"That movie leaked online a month and a half before it was supposed to be released, and all these people saw it and were so upset about Deadpool. I was in Mexico with some friends, and I was called by the chief of the studio, who said, 'You have to get on a plane right now. We need to re-shoot the very end of the movie.” I was such a douche, because I was like, 'I told you so.' I still get angry, because I remember saying, 'You know, there are more Deadpool fans out there than you realize, and they’re not gonna be happy with this.' I was met with a plausible reason, which was: 'We don’t have enough time to develop a proper Deadpool suit and make him the fully realized version of the comic, so we’re going with this.' But I was like, 'Then don't do it at all!'"
Believe it or not, Green Lantern then entered the fray.
How Green Lantern Got Involved
Ryan is a geek and he wasn't going to stay away from comic book adaptations for long. This resulted in him taking on the role of #HalJordan in the critically-panned #GreenLantern. What you might be surprised to hear, is that Fox are somewhat to blame for Reynolds taking on the project:
"I wrote a letter to my executive at Fox saying, 'I’m gonna take this movie Green Lantern if you guys aren’t gonna make Deadpool. I’m at the altar, about to say ‘I do’ to somebody else, but tell me you want to spend the rest of your life with me, because I want to spend the rest of my life with you.' And they said, 'Unfortunately, we can’t green-light that movie, and I don’t think it’s ever going to get green-lit.' So I was like, Okay, I’m gonna go move on with my life, then, I guess."
It must have been hard for Ryan to have his marriage proposal rejected so harshly. Fortunately, as it happens with every love that's meant to be, there came the brighter side.
When Everything Got Better... Kinda
Despite the cruel rejection, Ryan wasn't quite ready to give up. In 2009, alongside Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, he wrote a Deadpool script. Ready to keep pushing for the film to get made, the creative team was ready to con #Fox (just a little):
"We did every iteration of that script we possibly could come up with to please them and allow them to make the movie that looked vaguely like the movie we wanted to make... There were drafts of the script that were sort of masked versions where we thought, Okay, if they let us do this, we’ll actually shoot this, and hopefully they won’t notice."
But Deadpool was shelved once again. That's when the script they had written leaked online. Reynolds said this about the situation during an interview with Jimmy Fallon:
"We developed the script six years ago. Wrote this fantastic script... It leaked online and Deadpool fans were nuts for it. So the studio granted us a small amount of money to make a test footage. This test footage that we shot then sat on the shelf for for four years."
Frustrated by the constant rejection, one individual in the four-man Deadpool team decided to take matters into his own hands and leak the test footage they shot as a proof of concept for Fox, and it paid off:
"Once the test footage leaked on the Internet, that created kind of a groundswell of support... And the studio responded to that groundswell by saying, 'Okay, here’s the absolute bare minimum amount of money that we will consider giving this character. Go make your movie, fuck off, and let us know when it’s done.'"
To this day, none of the people involved confess to who released the footage. I have to say, despite their actions being somewhat... illegal, it paid off big time, so I wouldn't be too concerned about the person responsible owning up to getting the most profitable R-rated movie in history made.
As you can see, it was one long road for Deadpool to hit the big screens and become the mainstream character he is today. Recently, there's been trouble with keeping the main creative team together for the sequel and at first glance, that's worrying.
But as with any other upcoming movie, we need to keep our minds open because, hopefully, Ryan Reynolds and the writers will continue to understand who the character is and what he represents and will find a director that understands it as well, allowing the #MercwithaMouth to stand out as one of this era's greatest (anti) superheroes.
Can't get enough 4th wall breaking? Read on:
- Ryan Reynolds Finally Addresses The 'Scary Fights' During 'Deadpool' And Tim Miller's Departure From 'Deadpool 2'
- 4 Reasons Matthew Vaughn Should Take Over Directing Duties For 'Deadpool 2'
- Miller's Departure From 'Deadpool 2' Shows The Importance Of Getting The Cable Casting Right
Do you think Deadpool 2 will top the original?