Remember several years ago following the disappointing but fairly successful X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Remember how there was talk of putting Deadpool, the Ryan Reynolds character who becomes the kind-of villain, in his own film? Well, the Deadpool film is still kicking around somewhere, with Reynolds still interested in making it. But it might be more difficult than it seems.
Few people know much about Deadpool’s character outside of the Wolverine film. He’s not the world’s most recognizable character, even less so than Ant-Man or whoever the hell is in Guardians of the Galaxy. And given that he sort of dies at the the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it’s surprising that anyone thinks they can give Deadpool his own film. But Reynolds would very much like to play the part, and director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick would like to give him that chance.
The big hurdle to Fox greenlighting the Deadpool film seems to be Reese and Wernick’s resistance to changing their R-rated script to a PG-13 one, thus courting the ever-popular teenage demographic. Wernick and Reese claim that they can make up for the loss of teenage revenue by a budget adjustment. Rather than the usual superhero budgets that exceed $100 million, they want to bring in Deadpool at $50 million. That does have precedent: the Blade films were R-rated and commercially successful.
I think the bigger problem is that no one outside of comic book world really knows who Deadpool is – nor is he a particularly attractive character in the Wolverine film. Fox is apparently worried about Deadpool casting aspersions on the X-Men franchise, as his character is loosely tied in with them. Reynolds goes on to elaborate on what Deadpool could look like, and why Fox might be dragging their feet about it:
The character knows he’s a comic-book character, he knows he’s in a film, he knows who the executives are at the studio making the movie. In the current iteration of the script, Deadpool is aware of the Wolverine movie. He doesn’t say anything disparaging about it but he does at one point play with the Deadpool action figure with some curiosity.[Deadpool] is risky for everybody involved… It’s not as commercial as [the studio heads] would like it to be. It’s a property that is excessively popular and successful, just as a comic property. So you certainly don’t want to mess that up. And if you’re a studio you certainly don’t want to be put something out there that you can’t get back.
Yep, that sounds very interesting but likewise dangerous for a major studio.
So that’s where Deadpool is – still lingering in purgatory somewhere. It might still get made; then again, it might never see day again. Reynolds hasn’t had very good luck with his superhero films, has he?