James Gunn frequently uses his Facebook account to interact with fans and share some insightful messages about what's currently going on in the world of superhero movies, and following the success of Deadpool this weekend, the filmmaker has today weighed in with his thoughts on that.
He's clearly not too happy with the comments made by one anonymous studio exec who doesn't think Marvel Studios is capable of poking fun of themselves in the same way as the Merc with the Mouth's movie did, but loved Deadpool and is hoping that it opens the door to a lot of exciting new comic book adaptations. Unfortunately, Gunn is probably spot on when it comes to studios scrambling to copy Deadpool's success without putting any real thought into what they're greenlighting, but he goes on to make an interesting point about the good this R-Rated release could do.
Just how much of an impact Deadpool is really going to have on the genre remains to be seen over the next few months, but if nothing else, we can at least be glad he now has his own franchise...
"The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves."
That's a quote from Deadline Hollywood, attributing it to a Hollywood "suit." I love Deadline and get a lot of my film business news from them. And I love Deadpool even more - the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film - but COME THE [frick] ON. That's no reason to rewrite history. This quote has to have been said by the dumbest [frick]ing Hollywood exec in the history of dumb [frick]ing Hollywood execs.
Let's ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down - God knows I'm biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the [frick] was Ant-Man??!
Come on, Deadline.
After every movie smashes records people here in Hollywood love to throw out the definitive reasons why the movie was a hit. I saw it happen with Guardians. It "wasn't afraid to be fun" or it "was colorful and funny" etc etc etc. And next thing I know I hear of a hundred film projects being set up "like Guardians," and I start seeing dozens of trailers exactly like the Guardians trailer with a big pop song and a bunch of quips. Ugh.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
Deadpool wasn't that. Deadpool was its own thing. THAT'S what people are reacting to. It's original, it's damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn't afraid to take risks.
For the theatrical experience to survive, spectacle films need to expand their definition of what they can be. They need to be unique and true voices of the filmmakers behind them. They can't just be copying what came before them.
So, over the next few months, if you pay attention to the trades, you'll see Hollywood misunderstanding the lesson they should be learning with Deadpool. They'll be green lighting films "like Deadpool" - but, by that, they won't mean "good and original" but "a raunchy superhero film" or "it breaks the fourth wall." They'll treat you like you're stupid, which is the one thing Deadpool didn't do.
But hopefully in the midst of all this there will be a studio or two that will take the right lesson from this - like Fox did with Guardians by green-lighting Deadpool - and say - "Boy, maybe we can give them something they don't already have."
And that's who is going to succeed.