About as soon as the opening weekend box office returns from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” were announced, Fox swallowed the blue pill and greenlit “X-Men Origins: Deadpool,” a “Wolverine” sequel and a third, unnamed project.
Deadpool, a fan-favorite character played by Ryan Reynolds in “Wolverine,” is a (crazy) mercenary who peppers his stories with wisecracks and quips. He has a healing factor that supersedes even Wolverine’s and is one of the most formidable fighters in the X-Men universe.
And that’s all well and good except for the fact that the awesome Deadpool of the comics showed up in “Wolverine” for about five minutes before his character was summarily (and literally, apparently) chopped up into little bits.
Indeed, one of the great failures in “Wolverine,” besides the laughable writing, horrendous production values, pathetic dialogue, and all-around terribleness, was in fact the treatment of Deadpool’s character.
So what do I have to say about a Deadpool movie?
Let’s break it down.
1. Done right (key word), Deadpool has the potential to make a very cool movie, as well as one that will make money at the box office. His character allows for the gritty, edgy superhero movies that have come into vogue since “Sin City,” “The Dark Knight,” et cetera as well as the comedic factor – like “Spiderman,” except not as lame.
2. Done right (key fucking word), Deadpool would be a redeeming addition to the X-Men franchise that has gone from a gleaming beacon on a hill to a festering joke populated with evil Hollywood-types who like to destroy childhood heroes as they laugh and count their money. “Wolverine” proved that there could be an X-Men movie even worse than “X-Men 3: The Last Stand” and that Wolverine could star in a movie that people would compare to “Daredevil” in terms of suck. But Deadpool could change all that.
3. Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds caught a lot of flak when he was cast as Deadpool. Most fans had a hard time seeing Berg as one of the most badass mutants in the X-Universe. But frankly, the guy proved that he can do action movies in his five seconds of “Wolverine” screen time and in his role as Hannibal in “Blade III” (and come on, folks, let’s not pretend that the Blade movies were anything other than sweet sword-fights, shootouts and vampires). I’ll even go one step further and change his status from “competent” to “great choice.”
1. “X-Men 3: The Last Stand” made most fans (and people with brains) want to kill puppies.
2. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” made most fans (and people with brains) actually go out and kill puppies.
3. Can we possibly trust Fox? Since Bryan Singer left the franchise to go fail at “Superman Returns,” the studio has clearly proven that they could honestly care less about the quality of the X-Men movies. I mean, who hires Brett Ratner for anything, much less for a huge, big-budget threequel with a big fanbase and fan anticipation? Who hires a director whose attitude is, “fuck the fans, we already have their money?” And it’s one thing to change the storyline or introduce new characters or ignore established comic book canon in order to make a better film — a comic book movie is still an adaptation. It’s another thing entirely to shit on comic book canon in favor of making a shitty movie.
4. Most people haven’t heard of Deadpool, including the studio zombies who make these decisions. Unless Wolverine is somehow involved (as most popular character in Marvel films and comics), will Deadpool a) get the budget (although a budget didn’t appear to help “Wolverine” any) and b) generate excitement (aka, will people see it because it’s an X-Men movie?).
5. LEAVE DEADPOOL THE HELL ALONE. LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO HIM IN “WOLVERINE,” YOU MONSTERS!
So here’s what I think should happen. Drop the hokey and pretentious “X-Men Origins” business (Deadpool was NOT an X-Man, thank you), and besides Deadpool wasn’t in the original three X-Men movies. Don’t leech off of Wolverine’s popularity by making the movie some kind of “Deadpool and Wolverine, Duo Extraordinaire” and don’t even attempt to adhere to the (shitty) continuity in “Wolverine.”
Instead, reboot Deadpool in a movie of his very own, unrelated to the established X-universe on film. Sure, it can be an origin story, whatever. That’s what studios seem to be fond of these days. But make a movie for the character in his own right, not just because he fought with Wolverine a couple of times.
Most importantly, studios — read a fucking Deadpool comic. Seriously. Please.
And finally — for the love of Phoenix, don’t sew the character’s mouth shut. That’s half of what makes him awesome.