ByAlisha Grauso, writer at Creators.co
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

Before we get this party started, let me state for the record that I love Ryan Reynolds as [Deadpool](movie:38663). The disaster that was Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine had very little to do with Reynold's abilities to carry the role but with, well...you saw the movie, right? You can only do so much with this:

This is a thing that happened.
This is a thing that happened.

Given a chance to shine - and a decent script (regardless of whether or not it's R-rated), I think Reynolds would nail the role (Exhibit A: the Deadpool test footage).

But I understand that not everyone feels the same way. And, in fact, when I wrote that a Deadpool release date has been set, some of you commented you wanted another actor in the role. But if not Ryan Reynolds, then who? Good question.

Here are 5 choices I think could fill the Merc's shoes.

Jensen Ackles

"What?!" you might be yelling at your computer screen (or phone) right now, "The pretty one from that [Supernatural](series:200506) show? NO WAY."

But seriously, Jensen Ackles is a fine actor - there's a reason Supernatural has been going for ten seasons. The best moments in most of the episodes are built on the strength of Ackles' snark and have been for a decade. That is an impressively long time to be knocking out zingers like clockwork, so Ackles would be perfectly at home with the sarcasm that is absolutely required of Deadpool. Just look at him in action. He's not exactly a, ya know...non-dick.

Plus, while it's true Wade Wilson is hidden behind a mask, whatever actor steps into the role still needs some sort of physicality. They could always have the actor just do the voice work and another actor fill the suit, but it would be far better if the same actor could do both. Ackles has the tall, fit built to do Deadpool justice.

Kieran Culkin

While the younger brother of Macaulay Culkin is mostly known for his indie roles, he's stolen the show in just about every single one. His deadpan, sarcastic wit as gay roommate Wallace was the best thing about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and showed audiences he has impeccable comedic timing when it comes to quips. The only drawback is that Culkin's voice may not be distinctive or threatening enough when he needs it to be.

But since "crazy" kind of comes in a package deal with the surname of "Culkin," I have a feeling he wouldn't have much of an issue flipping the psycho switch and truly showing the legitimately unbalanced side of Wade Wilson that few actors could pull off.

Will Arnett

Will Arnett might be the best choice for Deadpool behind Ryan Reynolds. He's almost always the best part of whatever movie or TV show he's in (case in point: him being the only remotely redeeming thing about [Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles](movie:323027)). It's a testament to his abilities that his trademark, gravelly voice might have doomed a less talented/physically appealing actor to a life of voice work, he's managed to do both voice work and a serious slew of on-camera roles, including his breakout role on [Arrested Development](movie:38917). And, oh man, [30 Rock](series:200489):

Just imagine that growly voice coming from Deadpool's mask. Plus, we already know he has the discipline to get into buff shape, having hit the gym pretty obsessively after his split from actress Amy Poehler, along with quitting smoking. Despite the aforementioned TMNT being pretty, um...terrible, Arnett had some action scenes that showed he can legitimately hold his own in a physical role.

Karl Urban

It seems like fans have been begging for Karl Urban to be cast in a superhero role for ages now. Seriously, the people have spoken and what they have said is that they want Urban cast in something, anything, so why not give the people what they want? With [Dredd](movie:39136), [Riddick](movie:311824), [Almost Human](movie:1068359), and [Star Trek Into Darkness](movie:37722), we know he can hold his own in action and sci-fi. It wouldn't be a huge leap for him to transition to a gritty antihero role - ass-kicking is ass-kicking - and Urban can kick some bad guy ass with the best of them.

And while he's not necessarily known for his quippy humor, Urban is a great actor, and great actors are versatile. It wouldn't be out of the question to think he has a reservoir of great comedic timing he hasn't been able to unleash yet. Maybe Deadpool would be that chance.

Joel McHale

This is my wild card. But seriously, Joel McHale is one of those people who was born funny. He's done just about everything you can do in a comedic role: Host (both of The Soup and various awards shows), stand-up comedy, improv, writing, red carpet interviews, late night talk shows, movies, and TV series, including [Community](series:714858). The bottom line is, if it's funny, he's done it. You couldn't ask for someone with more more honed comedic timing than McHale, who would have a natural ability to take Deadpool's humor and bring it to the next level.

While a super-lanky 6'4", McHale has the right sort of build and could certainly bulk up a bit in order to be believable in action sequences. He uses an abundance of physical humor in Community, so he would be fairly comfortable with choreographed stunt scenes - particularly while making snarky commentary the entire way through them.

What about you? Love my choices? Hate 'em? Think they're weird enough to work? Add your own suggestions in the comments!


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