It looks like we are finally getting a Deadpool movie! *Jumps up and down like a lunatic* Of course, FOX has yet to actually announce it, but with all the "leaked" (ahem) footage, images of Ryan Reynolds in a mo-cap suit, and certain tweets from Rob Liefeld, it seems pretty clear to me that something is being set in motion.
That said, there are definitely issues surrounding the [Deadpool](movie:38663) project. It is a widely held opinion that the version of Wade Wilson we saw in Wolverine: Origins missed the mark by a wide margin, so fingers are being crossed that this could be improved upon the second time around. With the amount of changes in the X-Men movies recently, I actually believe that this may happen. It seems that FOX has realized how huge the comic-book fanbase is, and is now trying to return to the books and create more accurate characters and storylines.
Another major sticking point for many fans is the rating. A Deadpool movie would be PG13, and for a lot of people, this just doesn't allow for the kind of foul-mouthed violent behavior that Deadpool is known for. While it's true that we won't hear certain words quite as much as may be expected (and certainly nothing like Reynold's lines in Blade: Trinity!), PG13 allows for a surprising amount of bad language, and with a little creative writing I am sure that the right tone can be struck. "Craptacular" fits into the guidelines, right?
As for the violence issue, well, remember that basically every superhero movie made thus far has had a PG13 rating. Guns, explosions, stabbings, death - all totally ok. Not a lot on the blood-and-gore front, but I would rather see Deadpool using his incredible hand-to-hand combat skills and tossing people out of cars and off buildings anyway. It's not like PG13 forbids any blood at all (which would be ridiculous), just the really gory stuff.
The other issue for some (myself included) is the casting of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. This is actually more like two problems for me, so bear with me while I break it down a little further.
It's not that I don't like Ryan Reynolds, so lets get that clear right off the bat. I love Waiting, I think that Adventureland is hilarious, and I know that if I ever want something silly and funny without being even the slightest bit deep or meaningful I can turn to his latest comedy offering. And therein lies the problem.
Reynolds had his big break with Van Wilder, a ridiculous college comedy about a party-boy student, and while it has been twelve years, this is still the image of Reynolds that sticks in many minds. His cinematic career may span genres, but to a lot of casual movie-goers, Reynolds is a funnyman, pure and simple. He's over the top, crass, and generally represents the kind of humor that is applied with a sledgehammer.
All of which is fine. Just look at how well it worked for Jim Carey. Except that Deadpool isn't The Mask, and I would hate to see the biting, nasty, humor of Wade Wilson getting watered down to frat-boy level. Deadpool is funny, but he is also smart, and insane, and dark and just a little bit terrifying.
Giving the role to such a well-known actor could be problematic if the writers (and yes, it's down to the writing more than the acting) hear "funny", "attitude" and "Ryan Reynolds" and turn it into Van Wilder kicking the crap out of people for two hours. Deadpool deserves better.
I also think that with such a distinctive voice, it may be difficult for people to really separate the character and the actor. The benefit of lesser-known actors taking on big roles is that it is much easier to get lost in the story and the character. I would be a little concerned that when watching Reynolds as Deadpool, I wouldn't be able to forget that he is Ryan Reynolds. There comes a point where the actor is just too big a personality to entirely step aside from a role, and I wonder if Reynolds has reached that point. If he has, can he get past that, and make us forget that he is anyone but the character?
Give me Reynolds back when he was Hannibal King, and I wouldn't consider it an issue. Especially because Hannibal King, in so many ways, already is Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
The second part of my personal issue with Reynolds took me a while to actually put my finger on. For a long time, there was just something about him that bothered me, and I could not figure out what it was. Finally, during the research for this piece (which basically involved watching every Ryan Reynolds movie available), it hit me.
I had thought that as I got older, his particular brand of humor just appealed to me less, but when watching my way through his back catalog I realized that it wasn't about how I was changing, but how he had.
Reynolds has always had a bit of an odd habit of acting with his forehead (dem eyebrows!) and often over-playing facial expressions. It's about a subtle as a flying brick, and while I'm not a huge fan, he generally made it work.
Then in recent movies, I noticed that there was a change. He went from being mostly eyebrows and chin, to pretty much entirely that way. The corners of his eyes stopped crinkling in subtle ways, and only moved if he closed his eyes entirely.
This may seem like the tiniest thing to pick up on, but it's actually surprisingly important. Those little micro-movements around the eye are what convince us that someone is sincere. In face-to-face sales, it can make the difference between closing and having a client walk away. It's what people are talking about when they refer to "smiling with your eyes".
Without it, he pulls off the soulless skirt-chaser perfectly, but it bothers me when I think about him trying to do something with more depth than just ha-ha or bang-bang. It also creeps me out a little. If I went on a date with someone and they rarely or never used their eyes to show expression, no matter how charming they may be, I would spend dinner thinking that they were about to peel off my skin and wear it like a poncho. It's. Creepy.
There are, however, two bright lights at the end of that particular realization-tunnel. To start with, it seems like he is moving back in the direction of actually using all the muscles in his face. Could it be that the fillers/botox are wearing off? Before any die-hard-fans leap at me for that one, he did admit to having plastic surgery "for a fall" (wink wink), and it's hard to imagine any other way for a man to be nearing forty with barely a crow's foot in sight.
The second, and far, far more important one? Deadpool wears a mask. The entire time. So his serial-killer-esque lack of micro-expression will not matter in a Deadpool movie. In fact, the OTT eyebrows and chin may actually help convey expression through his mask, which is amazing.
All of which means that with the right writing and direction, Deadpool could still be the epic movie that all the fans want it to be, PG rating and casting be darned.