The Merc with a Mouth was considered a longshot by fans to score his own big screen adaptation.
It certainly seemed like the studio needed convincing that Deadpool would work as a part of Fox’s massive X-Men movie franchise. But after someone mysteriously leaked test footage, Deadpool became a huge success with a Disney debut in the works.
Deadpool’s humble origins
Created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza for Marvel Comics, Deadpool made his debut in 1991. That first appearance was in one of the final issues of The New Mutants before it evolved into the quintessential 90s comic, X-Force.
That series saw Cable lead the next generation of mutants in a more militant direction. Growing up in a future utterly dominated by Apocalypse had impacted his view of the world. He came back in time to prepare the X-Men for a potential future none of them saw coming.
Another Weapon X survivor, Wade Wilson was given a healing factor that’s possibly more powerful than Wolverine’s. Add that to his incredible proficiency with guns, blades and bombs, and his top tier hand-to-hand combat skills, fans were left with an incredibly deadly person.
But Deadpool’s most potent weapon is his mouth. The wise-cracking, sarcastic jerk under the mask is entirely incapable of not talking. Even torn in half or having his head removed, he just keeps nattering. It’s not so much a strategy as it is the fact that he’s crazy.
Like his mask, it all covers up his feelings about his face. Wilson went to Weapon X for a cure for his cancer. The healing factor achieved that but it also disfigured him incredibly. He might not be a mutant but it sure feels like he is sometimes.
The evolution of Deadpool
While Deadpool started off as a nasty mercenary hunting Cable for his boss, he quickly transitioned to the role of anti-hero. He progressed to his own mini-series and eventually to his own ongoing series that got really, really weird.
Deadpool is still a feared warrior and fighter, but he also often fills the role of comic relief. He constantly breaks the fourth wall, talking to the audience. Wade has also developed two sets of thought balloons over the years. The man contradicts himself constantly.
He eventually reached a point that he was one of Marvel’s top characters. There were multiple books on the shelves featuring him. That being said, he was also in danger of being overexposed. Several of the titles were cut, but Deadpool remains a prominent comic book present.
Bad movie to great movie
Deadpool made his disastrous big screen debut in the disastrous movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In case this wasn’t clear, the movie was a disaster. Ryan Reynolds played a version of the character that lost all the attributes that made him great, and gave him worse ones.
But that wasn’t Reynolds’ fault. He did the best he could with what he was given. After the 2009 movie was released, he continued to try and bring Deadpool into movies the right way. But Fox didn’t believe in the project and stonewalled him at every turn.
Then someone who definitely wasn’t Ryan Reynolds mysteriously released the project’s test footage. The outpouring of support from fans forced Fox to be realize the potential of a proper Deadpool film. It’s almost like that was the plan.
In 2016, Deadpool hit movie screens. It was a box office success and received positive reviews from most critics. The film was filled with fourth-wall breaking shenanigans and and over the top action sequences. It was a solid depiction of the character, and a really fun movie.
An R-rated success story
One of the main reasons Deadpool was a hit was because of it being rated R. This allowed it to tell the jokes that needed to be told to make the movie work. The same was true of the 2018 sequel, which took some risks with the character but solid ones overall.
While it’s only been a few years since Deadpool hit theaters, the comic book movie genre evolves quickly. There have been multiple comic book films since then. Yet, Deadpool still holds up as one of the best, and most unique.
With Disney buying out most of Fox’s holdings, their comic book movies became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How and when the X-Men will be folded into the MCU remains to be seen. So far, the movie with the most concrete future is Deadpool 3.
Fans were concerned that Disney’s aversion to R-rated movies would impact production, if not cancel a potential sequel entirely. But recent developments indicate that the movie is in the works and it will be R-rated. Disney is even planning a section on Disney Plus devoted to similar content.
As the first successful R-rated super hero flick, Deadpool changed the game for comic book movies. It’s also part of the biggest entertainment company in the world altering how it does business. But at its core, Deadpool is just a fun and absurd passion project that’s still great.
Did you enjoy Deadpool? Are you looking forward to Deadpool 3? Let us know in the comments below!