A bit of context for you fine people; there has been some talk as to what direction the people over at Fox were going to take Deadpool. They had two very distinct choices, make it an R rated film, and keep all the swearing, blood and over the top actions of the comic books, or tone it back and make it a PG-13. PG-13 would have been a possibility, there isn’t that much in the way of changes needed, draw back the violence and the swearing, which in the context of Deadpool could have worked, and would be very self aware. The reason for wanting it PG-13 is to allow a larger audience to attend, and as seeing as a lot of super hero films are seen as somewhat “childish”, would have made sense for the execs to want that. Thankfully they’ve decided to go the R rating route, and since then every single Marvel fan has rejoiced. This then means Deadpool seems to be becoming the most comic book pure film we’ve seen, being created from a Marvel property.
We’ve had a number of comic book pure films in the past, Sin City, you could argue is comic book pure, Kick-Ass, although slightly skewed story wise, had all the action and violence of the comics, and the most recent Judge Dredd re-make (Dredd) are all seen as very reminiscent of their comic book counterparts. The difference being, they weren’t exactly part of the “mainstream” comic books that the likes of Marvel and DC have on offer. In the past these titles have been chopped and changed in order to make them work on the silver screen, in order to allow a more family friendly experience, and the draw in enough people. For example, I very much doubt we’re about to get the psychotic, and downright violent version of Hank Pym that the comics have quite routinely rolled out. Even though, these have been easy to change to suit the cinema screen.
Deadpool is a completely different monster, his comic books have always been about over the top action, violence and expletives, and to make that family friendly, although very much do-able, would have changed something that a large number of comic book fans see as integral to the character. Let’s look at that “leaked” footage we saw a number of months back now. I still have my doubts that it was accidently leaked, but that’s a discussion for another time. It is exactly what you want from Deadpool, violent, sarcastic, and overall just the coolest set pieces we’ve seen in a Marvel property yet, if they manage to recreate that tone on the big screen they will be perfectly translating his character onto a different media.
Possibly the most important, and recognisable attribute is his ability to constantly break the fourth wall, an attribute which they’ve hinted at all the way through this film’s production. For those who are unsure as to what that means, Deadpool is very much aware of his surroundings, and what he is, a character in a comic books, and he plays on that constantly, for example speaking to his speech bubbles, talking to the audience, and creating pop-culture references to things that just aren’t in the Marvel cinematic universe, such as other completely different franchises. This is all played off in the comics as part of his psychotic personality, but is something that makes him so endearing to the audience.
What they decided to call Deadpool in the travesty that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is certainly being disregarded, that was a blip, a major blip, but something that will have no bearing on this character. I still can’t forgive them for sewing up the mouth of a character whose nickname has always been ‘The Merc with the Mouth’. I stand by the idea that Ryan Reynolds’ portrayal of Wade Wilson in that film was incredible; the problem came when they decided to turn him into something that he’s not.
With all the hints, and information being released, coupled with Ryan Reynolds’ clear passion for the character, I think we’re about to see the most comic book pure Marvel, and even DC character on the cinema screen yet. There were fears that if it were an R rated film that it would see the film somewhat fail in the cinema and come out with lukewarm profits, but if Fifty Shades of Grey, no matter what your opinion on that piece of “cinema” has proven, you can still make a fantastic amount of profit with R rated films, and therein lies the final point, if you create a fan that every fan wants to see, then they won’t just see it once, they will watch it over and over and over again until the projectors burn out.