Sometimes superhero casts don’t have the right debut to them, and while never the fault of the actor, it can leave quite a taint of how their involvement with the film goes. Ben Affleck‘s Batman was a solid performance in a very split Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Chris Evans and first Marvel property being The Human Torch in Fantastic Four (though reclaiming all credibility as the new Captain America), and even the Merc with a Mouth is no different when the fan favorite entered the silver screen in the disasterous X-Men Origins: Wolverine…sort of.
Actor Ryan Reynolds spoke with GQ about developments that went behind the film, going as far as to say he was aware it would do horribly, especially with his portrayal options being between a rock and a hard place:
At the beginning of that movie, that’s pretty close to Deadpool’s Wade Wilson—we’re in the ballpark with that guy. But it completely departed all canon and reason and he wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that. If you watch the movie, I’m actually playing only a small section, and another actor, this gifted stunt performer, is doing the lion’s share of that work. The conversation at the time was “If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.”
And for those wondering why Wade Wilson’s dialogue was the best part, it had nothing to do with the writing themselves. That was all written by Reynolds himself:
“It was during a writers’ strike, so all my dialogue in X-Men Origins: Wolverine I wrote. I mean, in the stage directions it just said, “Deadpool shows up, talks really fast, and makes a lot of jokes.”
The early leak of the film didn’t help either, as it caused Reynolds to refilm certain parts of the ending of the film. It was the first of Reynold’s “I told you so”s to the company as to how to respect the Deadpool community:
I was such a douche, because I was like, ‘I told you so.’ I still get angry, because I remember saying, ‘You know, there are more Deadpool fans out there than you realize, and they’re not gonna be happy with this.’ I was met with a plausible reason, which was: ‘We don’t have enough time to develop a proper Deadpool suit and make him the fully realized version of the comic, so we’re going with this.’ But I was like, ‘Then don’t do it at all!’
Reynolds has clear respect for the Deadpool character to devote 7 years of development hell to getting the proper film made in the end. In fact, as far back as 2004, Blade Trinity’s Hannibal King, another Marvel character Reynolds portrayed, was heavily inspired by Deadpool, showing he was much more invested in having the character come to life than we thought. At least things turned out for the better now, with an obvious quality and popularity boost for the character, and with two additional films in progress, who can argue?