On February 12th comic book fans were given the long awaited treatment for the infamous and wise cracking “Merc with a Mouth”, 25 years after his debut in New Mutants #98 he was risen purely by the demands of the fans: what else could comic book enthusiasts want more than a wise cracking, sarcastic, fourth wall breaking mercenary with a penchant for pop culture references and pissing of good guys and bad guys alike.
In 2009 a live action version of the character was played by Hollywood’s own wise cracking character Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was self evident that Reynolds was Deadpool: the witty banter, the condescending remarks, his personality was picked right from the comic. What we received was a production company’s version of how THEY interpreted the character, in order to guarantee financial gain. Their mutant abomination was a perversion of the character as a whole and Ryan Reynold’s hilarious and charming personality was lost in vain once he stepped onto the screen at the end with his mouth mended shut (whoever had that idea should have been fired). What many comic enthusiasts understand is that most of the time production companies know shit about the source material and have little care or attachment to the characters, they see Cash Cows that could draw in huge crowds with ensnaring trailers and franchised toy potential.
In 2014 a test footage starring Ryan Reynolds created by by Blur Studios was leaked showing the character in his true original form, Fox had no choice but to green light the project due to social media popularity and demand, allowing creative control to the team. Obviously the studio had little confidence for return on their dollar giving them a very low budget compared to other comic based movies, but as history has proven a low budget is a poor indicator on how well a movie will perform. Being a Deadpool fan Reynolds was involved in the script and production of the film, it was reported by a member of the team that his hands on approach helped with the efficiency of production even after the studio cut $7 Million from their budget last minute (which is poke fun at in the movies).
R-rated comic movies are a risk, and having a character in a live action film who consistently breaks the fourth wall is unorthodox, but when you put passion behind a project based upon source material with proven fan support and stay away from the standard action movie formula, Deadpool proved it can and will pay off. Sometimes you have to let the fans speak and allow fan to make the movies other fans want to see, and that is EXACTLY what we received.
For instance J.J. Abrams with the Star Wars franchise, there was a lot of skepticism when he was named to direct one of the most anticipated movies of all time, but in interviews he assured the audience that he was a fan and would make a movie that they wanted and the payoff for Disney is in the Billions.
The payoff for Deadpool has already shown to be beneficial, by taking the creative control out of the hands of the people who just sign checks. With $135 million North American weekend and over $260 million worldwide the fans have spoken. This fan for one saw it twice and plans on seeing it again and CAN NOT WAIT for the DVD release to see the out takes and bonus features. I hope the day of formula movies is over (take note Michael Bay) and it is about time that creators should be allowed to create without studio interference (maybe not M. Night Shyamalan ) if not the studios will continue to throw money at shallow projects and the movies will be filled with Studio designed disappointments like Fantastic Four, and NOBODY wants that.