Deadpool: Can FOX be trusted to give him his due on the big screen?
I have a feeling that Deadpool may be one of the few Marvel characters that FOX gets right, but in the back of my mind, I'm bracing myself for failure. And can FOX learn from Universal's blunders made on The Wolfman?
So the search has finally ended. The long in development Deadpool film has finally signed a director. Tim Miller, a visual effects worker on films such as the first 2 X-Men films will make his directorial debut on Deadpool. Hooray! Right?
Now let make one thing clear here. This piece is not meant to bash Tim Miller, because I want to have faith in him. I really do. I read the majority of Deadpool comics that hit the stands every month, and I've been anticipating this movie, since it was announced, and I hope that Tim is the man for the job. In fact, his involvement with part of the X-Men franchise, a series that I feel has let down so many fans of the comics, does not even sway me at all. After all, his involvement on those films was working on the special effects, not the stories. And I will even go as far as congradulate him on scoring his first movie as a director. I'm sure this is something that he has wanted for a long time, and I can imagine how happy and excited he must be.
My concern though lies with the fact that this is his first film. Now, who knows, he could be harnessing a unique creative vision and is very talented. On the other hand, he could be a pawn FOX picked to finally get this movie rolling after so long. The fact is we will not know how truly worthy he is until a few things happen.
A. We need to start hearing statements from Tim Miller telling us his vision for the film, whether it will mock or fall in line with the other X-Men movies, what intrigues him about Deadpool, and why he took this as his first film.
B. Images from the film that will further define his vision and how creible of a choice he is as this movie's director.
C. A trailer to give us a taste of the story, and how well he handles a cinematic story.
D. The finished project that will show how he pulled it all together and which had better be damned good.
It's really easy to write Deadpool as a character who should be not taken seriously. In the eyes of many comic book fans, the sheer number of books he has to himself and other random appearances seem to drive this point home. However there are many fans out there like myself who truly LOVE Deadpool, and think that he is a very special character. Hell he's not just a special character, he's a special KIND of character. Who else in comic books breaks the fourth wall? Who else addresses the readers directly in the middle of the heat of a fight? Who else narrates the re-cap pages of his own comic book? And finally and most hilariously has conversations with not 1 but 2 voices in his head? Deadpool is a one of a kind character in so many respects, and for this movie to be the very best it can be, those qualities need make it over intact on to the big screen.
Even though he may not be the most well known character, his movie has a lot riding on it. Ryan Reynolds who will play the character has on many occasions spoken of his love for the character and his desire to do him justice on the big screen. For him, Deadpool is completely a passion project, and I want Tim Miller and everyone else involved to share that passion for the good old Merc With a Mouth! However just because Ryan is passionate about this movie does not mean it will do well. Remember the love Benicio Del Toro so often spoke of The Wolfman and the other classic Universal studios monsters? That movie was a passion project for him the same way Deadpool is for Ryan Reynolds. Yet even though the film was good, Universal did not deliver as well as they could have. After Mark Romanek left the project, Joe Johnston stepped into the director's chair after only having 3 weeks of prep time. Again, The Wolfman to me was a great film, but it's flaws with pacing and character development did show in certain parts. And this was dissapointing, because part of Universal's legacy was their classic monster movies, and The Wolfman was touted as a return to form by the studio and various individuals involved with the production.
Now we have similar situation with Deadpool. Not only is Ryan Reynolds enthusiastic, but lately, Laura Schuler Donner herself has made statements that seem to be backing Ryan's claims that the film will be a reboot for the character, wash itself clean of the X-Men franchise, and even possibly mock it! Then again, look at who is making these claims. I believe in Ryan Reynolds dedication, but when Laura comes out saying that this film will be character reboot, therefore a return to form for Deadpool(just like The Wolfman was promised to be a return to form for classic monster movies, after other such efforts like The Mummy trilogy, and Van Helsing),I must exorcisse some skeptic optimism. After all, did'nt she promise X-Men Origins: Wolverine would be faithfull to that character's comic book roots. Yeah, look at that how that worked out! Even Deadpool himself recieved a black mark in his cinematic debut in that film. Wade Wilson was fine in the beginning. Weapon 11, aka, THE Deadpool, or as we here on CBM so fondly refer to him as Barakapool was anything but fine! I kow that I have referenced The Wolfman which is non CBM, and was made by a different studio, but the seemingly fast tracking of Deadpool that I think is happening is very reminicent of that film, and I think that those involved with Deadpool could view that film as a cautinary example of how to get not squander the passion and talent of people involved in a movie.
Fortunately the script that Wernick and Reese have delivered seems to support the idea of a character reboot. It even shows us it's own origin for Deadpool, that harkens much closer to the comics than what we saw at the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine(I wince a little each time I type that film's title). Both Donner and Reynolds have said the film has an R rated tone and the script supports that. My only suggestions for Tim Miller is to add in little things like Dr. Killbrew, the 2 voices in Deadpool's head(if Nolan North who voiced Deadpool in Hulk VS. and Marvel VS. Capcom 3 John Kassir who voiced the character in the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance did thes voices, I would be a very happy fan), Deadpool's crush on Bea Arthur( a Betty White Cameo would be a great nod to this), and Siren, who is the women who Deadpool would absolutely crumble to his knees for. And for the love of anything in this world that is reasonable, don't call it X-Men Origins: Deadpool. Either Deadpool or Deadpool: The Merc With a Mouth are perfect titles and will suffice just fine. Even if the the X-Men Origins line in the title is meant to mock the Wolverine film, and the X-Men Franchise in general, such a name for this movie will push many fans away.
I'm not gonna lie. I'm happy to see progress being made on this film after waiting so long for progress to happen. But in the back of my mind, I ask myself, and I ak all of you who read this: is this the progress we need? Both the movie and Tim Miller himself have a whole legion of fans to prove themselves to. What we believe know of the film's tone seems right but a first time director could be either a visionary or an unprepared pawn of a greedy studio eager to make a fast buck. FOX really needs to deliver on this film, even more so than on their previous Marvel superhero adaptions. Lets just hope that Deadpool can break the curse or at the very least be a break from what we have come to expect from them.
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