Several actors have played more than one superhero on the big screen, but only Ryan Reynolds has starred as two comic book characters who were met with such massively different reactions by fans. His takes on Wade Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Hal Jordan in Green Lantern were widely panned, but the actor ultimately found a huge amount of success when he returned as the Merc with a Mouth in Deadpool earlier this year.
Asked in a recent interview about why he thinks the Tim Miller-directed flick succeeded where Green Lantern failed, Reynolds reflected on their differences and why they ended up panning out so differently.
“Well it’s simple: Deadpool always knew what it was. With Green Lantern, I don’t think anyone ever figured out exactly what it was. That isn’t to say the hundreds of men and women didn’t work their fingers to the bone to make it as good as possible. It also fell victim to the process in Hollywood which is like poster first, release date second, script last. At the time, it was a huge opportunity for me so I was excited to try and take part in it.”
The actor makes a great point here, and the fact that Deadpool “always knew what it was” (an R-Rated action movie which didn’t take itself too seriously) is no doubt why it managed to connect with audiences and score such a huge box office haul. Reynolds’ passion also helped, and he revealed that he actually tried to get the movie made before starting work on Green Lantern.
“I did however write a letter to Fox right before I had to decide whether or not I was gonna do Green Lantern. I asked one last time sort of like the groom standing at the alter, ‘Will you please be my wife?’ and they said they couldn’t pull the trigger on Deadpool. For too many reasons too boring to illustrate, it just didn’t work.”
Things ended up working out for the best, because the wait for Deadpool surely played a role in why it was met with such a positive response. After all, it served as a breath of fresh air in the crowded superhero movie genre, and while it’s a shame that Green Lantern had to fail for that to happen, the character is getting another chance on the big screen in a few years from now anyways, so there’s still time for him to find redemption.