The Deadpool Movie: The Least Likely Superhero Film of All

The Deadpool movie begins filming next month for its winter 2016 release. This won't be like any superhero movie you've ever seen.

“We will never give up,” Deadpool movie director Tim Miller said less than a year ago, “We just need the green light.”

Well, they got it. It’s chimichanga time! The Deadpool movie is totally happening. They mean it this time.

Get ready for some impossibly violent, awfully crass, and maddeningly meta superantihero action when the Deadpool movie finally hits the screen on February 12th, 2016. The fan favorite character has had a star (Ryan Reynolds), a director (Tim Miller), and a hilarious screenplay by Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, for about as long as we can remember, but there’s been a certain reluctance to actually commit to getting this movie made.

Until now.

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How did all this happen? We’re glad you asked. Join us, as we explain to you everything there is to know (we think) about the Deadpool movie!

The Development

Deadpool popped up in X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2008, played by Ryan Reynolds. There’s been enough teeth-gnashing throughout the internet over the last however many years that we will spare you another exploration of why this was, shall we say, an underwhelming effort. That didn’t change the fact that Reynolds was absolutely perfect as Wade Wilson, and his passion for the character is one of the things that has helped sustain this project and make it a reality.

So, forgive the guy for Green Lantern already, will ya? Geez…

Anyway, at one point Robert Rodriguez was set to direct. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Once that script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick was put in place, though, that’s when the project grew legs. Especially when that script started floating around the internet. In fact, remember that part about the internet, because that’s a trend that keeps popping up with this movie, but we’ll get to that soon enough.

First, though, let’s talk about…

The Script

Here’s the thing. The script for the Deadpool movie is really, really violent. And crass. And riddled with profanity. It’s fucking bonkers, actually.

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Basically, Deadpool is a non-linear story that tells his origin in fragments while bouncing back and forth to the present while he kills everything in sight and swears an awful lot. It’s full of murder, fourth-wall breaking, death, sex, killing, bad words (ooooooohhhhh), and more murder. There certainly hasn’t been a superhero movie ever released that looks or sounds like this, and as far as I know, there weren’t ever any this nuts even in the script stages. You thought the Jackson Pollack joke in Guardians of the Galaxy was edgy? Get ready…

In fact, it’s difficult to imagine Fox filming this movie as written. In Ryan Reynolds’ own words: “It’s so, so far into the rated R and nearly NC-17 world that I just don’t know if the studio would ever risk their reputation in doing it.” Recent buzz has indicated that they may tone it down just enough to get it to the PG-13 end of things, but that’s the kind of thing that 

Honestly, we don’t know what to believe anymore. Things have gotten so topsy-turvy that we now live in a world where a studio is releasing a super-violent X-Men spinoff over Valentine’s Day weekend, which is kind of insane when you think about it. Clearly, anything is possible. “Dogs and cats, living together…mass hysteria!”

If you want a more detailed breakdown of the third-rate X-Men characters who appear in the movie, as well as a little more info on the “plot,” allow me to direct you to this article, written by Den of Geek‘s very own “Pope of Deadpool” Gavin Jasper. It’s helpfully titled The Deadpool Movie: A Guide to the Characters. It’s in blue. That means you should click it.

The Leaked Footage

In a convenient bit of timing, test footage that was shot for Deadpool hit the web in the middle of the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con. The internet promptly lost its collective shit. The footage, which is all computer animation, depicts a few pages from the screenplay in all its ridiculous glory. Ryan Reynolds not only provided the voice of Deadpool, but gave a fully motion-captured performance. 

It’s amazing. In fact, you should watch it. Click here. If the link is broken, let us know, and we’ll replace it. The internet is never going to let this one die, even though 20th Century Fox immediately sent out a team of lawyers and cyber-assassins to zap it wherever they find it. But like Hydra (wait, wrong Marvel studio!), you cut off one head, and two more shall take its place. This Deadpool footage will probably outlive all of us.

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We still don’t know who leaked this. Maybe it was Fox, or someone close to the production who wanted to see just how crazy things would get if the fans actually got a taste of this movie. A social media campaign was promptly launched by co-writer Rhett Reese to drum up even more support.

Conspiracy theories aside, Deadpool has one of the most devoted fanbases out there. With barely a TV appearance to his name, let alone a big budget movie, fans have been dressing up as Deadpool (and acting like him) at cons for years. Not even the most insulated and oblivious studio suit could have missed the massive groundswell of support that Deadpool got in the wake of this leak. If the people who loved and watched it buy tickets, this thing will do summer box-office numbers in February. 

The Movie They Want to Make

After years of false starts and hemming-and-hawing by all involved, the Deadpool movie now, for the first time ever, has an actual release date. This still doesn’t mean it has to get made, mind you, but it’s handily the most encouraging sign we’ve seen throughout this mess. It’s worth noting that for all the joking about studio interference and reticence to make a movie that breaks the traditional superhero mold (in as vulgar a manner as possible), it would at least appear that the project has always had the support of Lauren Shuler-Donner and Simon Kinberg.

In fact, for all the doomsaying (and I, too, have been a sayer of doom) that has surrounded Deadpool through the years, when you really look back at the news items we’ve run over the last year or two (shameless plug: all our Deadpool coverage lives at this link right here!) not once did anyone actually pronounce it dead. While we understand why people close to the project like Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds might have been reluctant to pull the plug on a project that obviously means a lot to them, the Den of Geek archives are positively lousy (note: we don’t actually have lice) with surprisingly encouraging quotes from the very people you’d expect to be shooting it down.

That’s actually hilarious when you consider this quote from Ryan Reynolds:

The script is like one rewrite away from Deadpool jumping across the desk at a studio executive and attacking.”

Shit. You don’t think that’s what ended up happening, do you?

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But the most important part of this is that Miller, Rheese, Wernick, and Reynolds have kept the faith, and are clearly trying to make a very specific kind of superhero movie. “It’s happening the right way, and that’s all that matters,” Reynolds said, even describing it as “the movie we want to make.” He’s been in the game long enough to know what a difficult proposition that is.

Anyway, see you all on February 12th, 2016. It’ll be really romantic. I’ll bring the tacos.