During a recent interview with GQ, Ryan Reynolds talked about his long road to Deadpool. He revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes details about some things that went down between Reynolds, Fox, and Deadpool over the course of a few year.
The actor spent years trying to persuade Fox to allow him to play Deadpool. They finally offered him the role in their 2007 X-Men: Origins Wolverine, which we all know turned out to be a disaster. Reynolds knew the movie was going to be awful, and it wasn’t his ideal situation, but if he didn’t take the part, it would’ve gone to someone else. Reynolds explained:
“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.'”
Of course, he wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to play the character, and as bad as the movie was, I’m glad he didn’t. If he did turn it down, we probably would have never Deadpool get his own awesome movie years later. He went on to talk about X-Men: Origins leaking online and how it gave him the opportunity to say “I told you so” to the studio chief:
“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!'”
Over those years Reynolds was constantly trying to persuade the studio to finally make Deadpool. At one point, when he was offered the role of Green Lantern, he tried to push Fox to make the Deadpool movie so that he wouldn’t have to do Green Lantern. He explains:
“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.”
Those Fox guys are crazy! There’s no doubt that all of these people were kicking themselves in the ass for the stupid decisions they made with this character after Tim Miller‘s Deadpool blew up at the box office and was a huge hit with the fans and critics.
I’m just glad that Reynolds never gave up on Deadpool. He pushed and pushed and pushed until Fox finally caved and did it. It was a long and frustrating road, but it all worked out and now everyone is happy!