Many of us will agree that Ryan Reynolds did a solid job as Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but then the script decided to take some drastic departures from the source material and essentially transformed him into the movie's boss battle character. Needless to say, it made some passionate fans of the Merc with a Mouth want to flip a table or wipe the experience from their memory. It was quite a bummer, but despite the very negative experience, Wade Wilson fans still managed to hold onto hope for a solo Deadpool movie.
We've been given little signs of progress here and there, too. Over the years, a script has leaked (it's allegedly good but I haven't read it), a director was named, Reynolds continues to say he'd be all for the project, X-Force now has a potential future with Fox, and now, some test footage has hit the web. The footage may be brief but it managed to capture the character's tone incredibly well. It was action-packed and creatively executed, had Wade breaking the fourth wall, and managed to show a version of Marvel character that's both lovable and deadly. Basically, it's yet another bit of hope that has fans going "Cool, now WHERE'S THE MOVIE?!" Well, with Fox's X-Men cinematic universe now on a whole new path (see the very awesome X-Men: Days of Future Past for more details), we think one would totally work and needs to happen.
"I think it would be awesome, but they'll never make it because a Deadpool movie needs to be rated R and the studio won't do that." It's true studios tend to shy away from the rating because it reduces the range of people that can purchase a ticket. Seeing as comic book movies are hugely popular now, it's understandable they'd want to get as many butts in the seats as possible when they release a new comic book movie. However, the possibility of rated R Deadpool movie still exists. This weekend, Lucy, a rated R action movie starring Scarlett Johansson, took the top spot at the box office (taking down the epic Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and has already earned a profit. Plus, the 1998 comic book movie Blade was heavy on violence and also made a profit. Sure, we can cite some movies that weren't a success, but, to me, that's kind of like saying "a female lead movie won't work... just look at Elektra and Catwoman!" No, those didn't work because they're not good movies and other R movies weren't marketed properly (Dredd 3D, Punisher: War Zone). If you're taking a risk with a higher rating, you need to prove to the audience that thisisn't going to be just another generic shoot 'em up movie and bad memories with the character from previous films aren't an issue. With Deadpool, they have the chance to capitalize on a massive crowd that is absolutely able to buy a ticket. The Merc with a Mouth is bigger than ever (the dude has so many limited series on the horizon) and he's become even more recognizable thanks to appearances in video games and animated shows/movies. This is something X-Men writer/producer Simon Kinberg obviously recognizes, too. He previously told Collider, "I think you’ve gotta do a hard-R, darker movie and he is the perfect character to do it with.
While it's a different genre, it is worth noting that Fox has been okay with pushing out rated R projects in the past (Prometheus). We all get they're a business and they need to focus on making a profit, but the solution is simple: build a good movie, market it well, and we'll happily buy a ticket at least once. There's a huge amount of fans craving an action-packed, hilarious and fun Deadpool movie and it's a premise that can pull in non-comic book fans, too. Now, Fox has the opportunity to give us one. If the concern is the rating, counter that by being confident in your product and market it properly. Let everyone know this will be the most chaotic and hilarious action movie they'll see all year and that's sure to put it on radars.
Something like this is all about the right people behind the scenes making the right case for it. So, let's hope there's some true Deadpool fans that are really pushing to make sure we get a film that's every bit as unrestrained and graphic as it should be. We know Reynolds and Kinberg say it should be R, so let's hope they aren't alone in that battle. That said, the amount of content movies can get away with nowadays in a PG-13 movie is pretty shocking. I mean, the test footage that hit the web has a guy getting decapitated but, because of the way it's presented, it would totally fall under a PG-13 rating. We've seen much worse on TV shows, haven't we? They can show a considerable amount of violence and even use 4-letter words a handful of times (X-Men: First Class made proper use of this) with a PG-13 rating. Plus, it then holds the potential for a director's cut on Blu-ray.
Even if an eventual Deadpool movie is rated PG-13, we shouldn't automatically assume it'll be devoid of shocking action and crude humor because they really can get away with a lot. Obviously, many of us would prefer R, but as long as they get the essence of the character right, they can still make it a completely memorable and thrilling ride that's packed with entertaining fights and comedy. But again, let's hope the people pushing this movie realize that a large amount of viewers will see a rated R Deadpool movie as long as it looks promising and is marketed to reel in other fans craving some crazy action and an overall fun time at the movies. Yes, the X-Men movies have their bits of levity, but for most part, they're establishing a far more serious atmosphere as they present so much worldbuilding and a handful of gripping character dynamics. A Deadpool solo would give them a chance to really go all out, embrace some over-the-top madness and simply have a good time giving audiences exactly what they want from Wade.
With the commendable quality of X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, it's more than clear Fox is righting its wrongs with the franchise and giving us a clean slate as they move forward. Seeing as the whole Three Mile Island incident takes with "Deadpool" place after Nixon's time in office (again, see X-Men:DoFP), it feels safe to assume they could easily present us with an all-new -- and more appropriate -- version of Wade in the X-Men cinematic universe. Wade Wilson isn't all jokes and sword slashing, either. There's plenty of potential with character depth (currently, Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have handled this exceptionally well) and the film's writers could have a complete riot figuring out how the Merc with a Mouth would interact with others. This new X-Men universe has done a brilliant job presenting compelling characters (McAvoy and Fassbender immediately come to mind), and, while there's plenty of opportunities to develop Wade as a person, he could also be there to make sure viewers have a smile on their face every now and then, too.
Deadpool's immensely popular and the response to that released footage has been overwhelmingly positive. Considering the tone of that brief clip, a Deadpool solo absolutely has the potential to be a total blast and, as long as it's advertised properly, you can bet flocks of people will show up to see Wade Wilson thrown into all kinds of violent, comedic, and crazy scenarios. So, what are we waiting for? It's time to make this happen, Fox.
Do you think a Deadpool movie's a good idea? Share your thoughts with the world below. Gregg wants to one day say "a ticket for Deadpool, please" at his local movie theater. If you share his passion for the Merc with a Mouth, he'd totally appreciate a follow on twitter.