Ryan Reynolds hasn't had the best of luck in the world of superhero movies. While he wasn't anywhere close to the problem with X-Men Origins: Wolverine (he may have been the best thing about it - honestly I've tried my best to wipe that movie from memory), his take on Green Lantern didn't do his career any favors.
Not many actors get a third chance in Hollywood, so it seemed appropriately big news when Fox decided to greenlight a Ryan Reynolds [Deadpool](movie:38663) movie after some old test footage made its way to youtube and got many a geek excited about the characters possibilities on the big screen. But is Fox already messing it up?
Make it R Rated
Fox doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to how it handles they're Marvel characters. That Wolverine movie notwithstanding, did you see those Fantastic 4 films? Yeah, sorry I had to remind you... Aside from the Bryan Singer helmed X-Men movies, and the much improved 2013 solo outing The Wolverine, Fox seems to be a bit confused about what makes a good superhero movie work.
I believe the biggest reason that fans were excited about the test footage is that it stays true to the character. Deadpool is an R rated character, there's no two ways about it. The 1 minute and 40 seconds of the video contains a severed head being toyed with and a nicely placed f-bomb to go along with some casual swearing throughout. The character by nature is gleefully profane and that's why people like him.
The original Deadpool script from the duo behind Zombieland (a successful R rated, violent comedy, it should be noted) dates back to around 2010 and was reportedly very funny and very violent and at one time had the interest of Robert Rodriguez. Since those early days studios have seen the likes of Kick-Ass and RED prove that there is an audience that will show up to an R rated comic book adaptation - and neither of those titles had the kind of built-in audience and popularity that Deadpool does.
This may all be for naught though, as reports of script re-writes landing it with a PG-13 rating may be the very reason the movie finally got the go-ahead.
Let Visionary Directors Have Control
The X-Men movies have flourished under the control of Bryan Singer. And Fox seemed to learn something after the backlash against the third film when the studio replaced Singer with Brett Ratner. The series was handed back to Singer and they're back to being great superhero films. Fox needs to give Deadpool to someone who, like Singer, has passion for the property and isn't just someone who can deliver a movie under budget and on time.
Robert Rodriguez would still be a fine choice. He can direct action sequences, has a deep love for comic books and the character, and is notoriously good with a modest budget. And most importantly, he always makes a Robert Rodriguez movie (for better or worse). What you don't want to see happen is the property given over to someone who makes his or her career being a director-for-hire and it looks like Fox has found a passionate, though untested, director in first-timer Tim Miller. You just hope the suits aren't going with him because they feel like they can pull his strings.
Hey, the guy behind the special effects in Scott Pilgrim is ok with me! Just let him make the movie he wants to instead of forcing a luke-warm rating on him for the sake of more hypothetical money.