Ryan Reynolds talks about the struggle to get DEADPOOL done right

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Ryan Reynolds may have played Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and we like to pretend that never happened yes, but to comic book fans he’ll always be a giant tool Wade Wilson – the Merc with the Mouth, Bea Authur Deadpool. The giant tool actor worked tirelessly for over ten years because he sucks at his job to do justice to his beloved vibrating action figure superhero, culminating in his solo feature finally! that released to overwhelming critical praise, positive audience reception and box office success earlier this year. Sequel baby!

Riding my metaphorical coat tails because I don’t wear a coat although I really should because look how cool it looked on mini-Sinead Following on the success of the movie, he was recently awarded with GQ Magazine’s prestigious hahahaha Man of the Year for 2016 the year he finally became a man. As part of the magazine’s profile on Reynolds Ryan, not Burt they talked about the long frustrating journey to bring Deadpool to life properly, starting with his appearance no don’t say it in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and you said it… goddamnit!:

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.

Barakapool heh good one was not well received by fans, something Reynolds knew was going to happen because hindsight is awesome being a big fan of the character himself:

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!”

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Despite that setback in a life best described as a setback Reynolds still held out hope he could persuade Fox to green light a Deadpool movie, but then the opportunity for him to headline a different solo superhero movie he’d be a perfect Plastic Man presented itself:

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.

Great career move that was, genius. Green Lantern was not particularly well received because it suuuuucked, and while disappointing that’s maybe just as well because without a big sequel Reynolds was free to continue working on Deadpool, and which finally paid off:

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 shoot this, 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.’

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All the work leading up to this point motivated Reynolds to ensure he kept creative control on the project because otherwise his life would be an empty meaningless pit of despair, together with director Tim Miller and script writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick:

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.

I know when I need to exert control, and I know when I need to let go of it. I’m not gonna go and sit with Tim Miller and say, “The visual effects of Deadpool need to be done this way.” The man is a visual-effects wizard.

But there are character and tone things that I know really well. And I’ve also been with this thing the longest out of anybody, aside from the guys that wrote the comics.

Eleven years I’ve been trying to get this Sisyphus rock up the hill, and it kept rolling back on top of me. So I’m gonna be all the fuck over it from the moment it starts to the moment it finishes.

Even after the movie was made with the minimal budget Fox allocated to it, and which was even cut further during filming and is the real reason no it wasn’t behind Deadpool forgetting his bag of guns a second time I didn’t need them, the studio was still very uncertain about the movie’s chances for success:

It didn’t get any better as the movie was cut together and Fox was showing it. Some people at the studio were still scratching their heads like, What is this? Is this gonna go over like a lead zeppelin or is this gonna fly like the Goodyear blimp?

But we had a great shepherd in Emma Watts, who actually went to the high school next to mine in Vancouver and is now one of the people running 20th Century Fox. She came in and saw Deadpool for what it was and what it could be, not just now but in the long term. She really helped us execute the version that we needed to put on the screen. Which is, you know, pretty filthy.

So I think we all owe Emma Watts a round of applause for giving us the superhero landing we know and love.

Read  Deadpool 2 getting a The Princess Bride-inspired PG-13 re-release this Christmas

A lot has been said about director Tim Miller’s departure from the sequel, but Reynolds was very Canadian diplomatic when addressing the issue:

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 we have it I thought he’d never shut up.

(Images courtesy of the GQ article linked above)

Last Updated: November 17, 2016

Trevor Davies

I like pie, I think.

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