Why the Deadpool Animated Series Was Cancelled

FX has revealed that it wasn't their decision to not move forward with Donald Glover's animated Deadpool series after all.

The next step in Atlanta writer and star Donald Glover’s quest for world entertainment domination was set to be an animated Deadpool series on FX.

The sensibilities of the creator, network, and creator all seemed to line up perfectly and should have created a fascinating series. Particularly if that “leaked script” Glover leaked was real. FX, however, declined to move forward with the Deadpool series, cancelling it back in March despite originally giving it a series order.

So what gives? Why did FX suddenly sour on a buzzworthy series from their network’s biggest star? Turns out they didn’t. In an interview with Variety following FX’s appearance at the TCA summer tour, FX President John Landgraf revealed it wasn’t FX’s decision to axe Deadpool: The Animated Series after all. It was Marvel’s:

“They didn’t want to do the show that Donald and Stephen (Glover) wrote. We would have done show that Donald and Stephen wrote, but it wasn’t our decision. When Marvel decided not to do that show, we parted company with them as did Donald and Stephen. Now it’s totally up to them (Marvel) whether they hire someone else to do a different show.”

That makes some more sense then. FX, for better or worse, has always maintained an artist-friendly reputation, allowing creative showrunners to do whatever they’d like within the boundaries of budget and standards and practices. Showrunners like Glover on Atlanta, Louis C.K. on Louie, and Pamela Adlon on Better Things have all reported receiving plenty of creative autonomy. 

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FX also has a very loose Marvel adaptation in house already with Noah Hawley’s Legion that adapts the character of David Haller (a.k.a Legion) from Marvel comics. If Marvel was comfortable with all the weirdness and occasional controversy surrounding Legion, imagine the kind of awesomely transgressive stuff that the Glovers had in store to scare Marvel off.

In the same interview, Landgraf suggested that Marvel may eventually revive the show under different creative authorship. So Deadpool: The Animated Series may not be dead yet. It’s just the probably great version of it that is.

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