Just this past week, writer/director Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) announced that he will indeed bring X-Force to the big screen. This excited many fans the world over (myself included), as fan-favorite Deadpool is a member of that team. Though no specific announcement has been made of the character’s involvement, it is widely assumed that he will appear. So everybody is satisfied – except me. Don’t mistake me, I’m just as much a fan of X-FORCE as the next guy, but this is an obvious case of putting the cart before the horse. Fox has been holding out on a Deadpool movie for years, and it is still a topic that provokes rage amongst all the fans out there who have been clamoring to see the “Merc with a Mouth” grace the big screen (X-Men Origins: Wolverine does not count, ever). All of the pieces are in place to make it happen, but somehow there always seems to be a reason as to why the project gets stalled. Let’s take a look at all the facts and make a case for why Deadpool needs to happen before X-Force.
First and foremost, there are two elements that should immediately make this project a priority at Fox. Ryan Reynolds has long been the fans choice to play Wade Wilson/Deadpool since the prospect of the film was first announced. He fits the bill for a variety of reasons. He’s a gifted comedic actor, which bodes well given the character’s notoriously manic sense of humor. He has proven his ability to handle action, as proven in films such as Smokin’ Aces, The Green Lantern, and Safe House. Lastly, he is almost a perfect physical match to the character. It also helps that Reynolds himself has stated ad nauseam in interviews and press calls that he wants the film to happen. You have to give the man credit, after all the back and forth and will they/won’t they speculation with the studio, the man is still committed to seeing the project through.
The other element that makes this film worthy is the brilliant script by Zombieland scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. I – like many others out there – have read the script at least 6 times and it is as faithful to a comic book character as you can possibly get. It’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, action packed, vulgar, ultra-violent and just what the fans are looking for. There’s even a few cameos from fellow Marvel Universe characters to keep us fanboys salivating for more. I was pleasantly surprised that Rheese and Wernick obviously knew the character well, and their appreciation for him is evident in this screenplay. I won’t divulge any story details in the off-chance that Fox decides to move forward with the film, but take my word for it folks – it’s awesome. This comes from a guy who has probably read every Deadpool comic under the sun.
As I stated previously, X-Force is a great property to bring to theaters but it’s not quite ready. Although Jeff Wadlow now has experience making vulgar comic book films, it stands to reason that Fox still hasn’t loosened their grip in regard to content concerns. If they are reluctant to make a Deadpool film because it’s a hard R-rated story, why would they bend and allow Wadlow to make the character as vulgar and violent in X-Force? Is it because there are other characters involved to offset whatever “disturbing” behavior Deadpool displays? My guess would be no, and instead we get the watered-down version they tried to forcefeed us in X-Men Origins: Wolverine which bastardized the entire story of Wade Wilson. If Fox was smart, they’d test Deadpool with his first balls-to-the-wall individual story, and see how audiences respond. Then, if the box office is right and the demand is there, transfer him into the X-Force film. This is the rare opportunity where fans would rather see Deadpool stay at Fox rather than go to Disney, where we would likely never see the movie we’ve wanted to see.
Fans of the character have been extremely vocal about their disdain for Fox as a result of this production debacle. Every small piece of information that leaks from the troubled film whips the blogosphere into a frenzy. Earlier this year after details on the film had hit a brick wall, I interviewed Ryan Reynolds and snuck in a Deadpool question. He said that he is 100 percent ready to move on it, but the studio is “reluctant” because of the film’s graphic violence and language. Fans did not take this news well, and it subsequently touched off a hate campaign all over the web directed at Fox. Since then, we in the film blog business have been combing through and disseminating each bit of information on the project as it emerges, no matter how big or small. The bottom line is still the same – it’s too great of a character to leave on the shelf.
The genesis of the film has attracted some interesting names to direct. At one point, David Goyer (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) had signed on to helm the project and also write the screenplay with comic writer Mark Millar. Eventually Christopher Nolan came calling and Goyer decided to leave the project altogether. In 2011, director Robert Rodriguez was approached to direct the film based off the now existing script from Wernick and Reese. Ultimately, he moved on to other projects and development stalled out. As of now, Fox has tentatively hired director Tim Miller to develop the project, but judging by it’s history, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
The bottom line is this my friends: we all want a Deadpool movie. All the necessary pieces are in place to allow that to happen. Fox could atone for their crimes against Marvel (Daredevil, Ghost Rider) by simply allowing the development process to continue. They can take cues from Kevin Feige’s process with Disney and give the characters their own films before attempting to assemble them into one film. Even DC/Warner Brothers is getting behind this idea by bringing Superman and Batman together for the first time ever. An X-Force movie will be excellent, but we deserve better - Deadpool deserves better. What do you think my friends? Make your own case for an R-Rated, hilarious, and violent Deadpool movie in the comments below.