Love it or hate it, 2016’s Deadpool has changed the way comic book films are viewed. The comedy, romance, action, superhero, spoof, film hit theatres in February, and dominated the box office earning nearly $800 million worldwide, despite landing an R-Rating. The movie, directed by Tim Miller, endured years and years of production hell, which can only make its success even better. In a new interview with GQ, the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds discussed the sheer stress and “nervous breakdown” the movie’s development caused. Reynolds, who begun pushing for the film 11 years ago, also picked up one of GQ’s “Men of the Year” awards, alongside Rules Don’t Apply director, Warren Beatty, and Usain Bolt.
20th Century Fox infamously ignored the public’s desire to see the Merc With A Mouth on screen, and for years, failed to see what the fans truly wanted. However, in 2007, just after the release of X-Men: The Last Stand, an opportunity arose:
“It was during a writers’ strike, so all my dialogue in X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wrote. I mean, in the stage directions it just said, “Deadpool shows up, talks really fast, and makes a lot of jokes.” At the beginning of that movie, that’s pretty close to Deadpool’s Wade Wilson—we’re in the ballpark with that guy. But it completely departed all canon and reason and he wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that. If you watch the movie, I’m actually playing only a small section, and another actor, this gifted stunt performer, is doing the lion’s share of that work. The conversation at the time was “If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.”
Reynolds was not down for anyone else to portray the role he spent so long wanting to. When Origins infamously leaked online, the actor was encouraged to develop the standalone project once more:
“That movie leaked online a month and a half before it was supposed to be released, and all these people saw it and were so upset about Deadpool. I was in Mexico with some friends, and I was called by the chief of the studio, who said, ‘You have to get on a plane right now. We need to re-shoot the very end of the movie.” I was such a douche, because I was like, ‘I told you so.’ I still get angry, because I remember saying, ‘You know, there are more Deadpool fans out there than you realize, and they’re not gonna be happy with this.’ I was met with a plausible reason, which was: ‘We don’t have enough time to develop a proper Deadpool suit and make him the fully realized version of the comic, so we’re going with this.’ But I was like, ‘Then don’t do it at all!’”
Of course, Origins hit theatres in 2009 and was hated by pretty much everyone. Not only that, but it led to a redevelopment of sorts for the entire X-Men franchise with 2011’s First Class. While this was going on, Reynolds had received an offer from Warner Bros on a little film called Green Lantern:
“I wrote a letter to my executive at Fox saying, ‘I’m gonna take this movie Green Lantern if you guys aren’t gonna make Deadpool. I’m at the altar, about to say ‘I do’ to somebody else, but tell me you want to spend the rest of your life with me, because I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ And they said, ‘Unfortunately, we can’t green-light that movie, and I don’t think it’s ever going to get green-lit.’ So I was like, Okay, I’m gonna go move on with my life, then, I guess.“
Like a very sad breakup, Reynolds decided to move on to bigger things. Notice, I did not write better, because it simply wasn’t. Much like Ross and Rachel, it appears that Reynolds and Wade Wilson were just meant to be. Reynolds and Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick wrote a screenplay out of pure love for the character, hoping one day a studio would adapt their beloved hero:
“We did every iteration of that script we possibly could come up with to please them and allow them to make the movie that looked vaguely like the movie we wanted to make. And in the end, we got to make the exact movie we wanted to make all along. There were drafts of the script that were sort of masked versions where we thought, Okay, if they let us do this, we’ll actually shootthis, and hopefully they won’t notice. And once the test footage leaked on the Internet, that created kind of a groundswell of support, which was the most invaluable tool we had to get the movie made. And the studio responded to that groundswell by saying, ‘Okay, here’s the absolute bare minimum amount of money that we will consider giving this character. Go make your movie, fuck off, and let us know when it’s done.’”
Finally, Fox decided to green light the project. After years and years of fans complaining, and the leaked footage doing incredibly well, it appears the movie was finally happening. However, Deadpool‘s production was rather… unique to say the least:
“Making the movie was very, very difficult. It was the most passionate group of individuals I’ve ever worked with in my life. And for whatever reason, that mercurial crazy burgoo of people is what made this thing work so well, not just because I had this vision and I saw it this way and it had to be this way. It worked because we all had that feeling. But there were vaguely scary fights in the post-production process that escalated quickly. Luckily, everybody’s grown up and at the end of the day enjoys and loves each other.”
Recently, it was revealed that Deadpool director Tim Miller will not be returning for the follow-up. Creative differences with Reynolds led to the departure. GQ asked the actor how he felt about Miller leaving, to which he responded:
“All I can really add is that I’m sad to see him off the film. Tim’s brilliant and nobody worked harder on Deadpool than he did.”
And there you have it. What do you guys make of this? Are you excited to see Reynolds return in Deadpool 2? The upcoming sequel is set to hit theatres everywhere in 2018; no official date has been revealed. You can read the full interview over at GQ.com, as well as picking up the latest issue with Reynolds himself on the front!
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) November 14, 2016