'Deadpool' Writers Talk Test Reel, Leaked Script & Accepting an Outlier
Just recently, Ryan Reynolds talked about his perspective on the long talked about, but stagnant development on a Deadpool movie at Fox, following his appearance as the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The actor delivered some great news for fans who are holding onto hope that it gets made as the script is said to mock the anti-hero's appearance in the prequel. Now the writers, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (who also penned G.I. Joe: Retaliation, hitting theaters this week), are talking about Deadpool again including the test reel they shot, the leaked script and how Deadpool can turn out just like Iron Man.
First, rumors swirled online over a year ago that Fox may have commissioned a test reel for Deadpool, but we haven't heard any official information. Now Reese confirms that the attached director, VFX wizard Tim Miller, was behind the test and Reynolds did motion capture and voicework for it. Reese told Collider:
"We have a phenomenal director in Tim Miller, who did about a 3-minute test for Fox, and Ryan came in to do the mo-cap for it and the voice. And it’s like the greatest three minutes ever. I look at the three minutes and I’m like, 'That’s the movie, and it has to get made.' I think the biggest hurdle right now is convincing the-powers-that-be that it’s okay to have a hard-R rated movie within the Marvel Universe."
Of course, that's the biggest hurdle. R-rated movies typically do less money at the box office, and since comic book movies are usually among the most expensive studio pictures, it's hard for Fox to bite the bullet and spend millions on a movie that might bomb, largely because of mature content. However. Reese and Wernick think the film could be made for about $50 million, which would be small enough to allow a successful R-rated film to earn its money back fairly easily, especially with a star like Reynolds involved. They also talk about how they think audiences will respond to the character similar to Iron Man:
REESE: I think there just has to be a tolerance for the outlier. There has to be a tolerance for this one project that’s not like all the other Marvel projects.
PAUL WERNICK: Iron Man was like that when it came out. Tony Stark and the hard drinking, fast-talking billionaire was very different from all the other Marvel characters. And look what it became. And we feel that way about Deadpool.
However, what about that leaked script? Does it ruint he mystique, or does the mostly positive fan reaction make them happy? Reese says:
The script leaked online in some bizarre way that we haven’t figured out, so it’s very easily findable out there. It’s pretty much you go on Google and type in 'Deadpool script' and you’ll find it. Not to say people should be doing that because it certainly wasn’t something we anticipated or enjoyed in the moment, but the Deadpool fans who found it think that it’s right in the wheelhouse of what a Deadpool movie should be. And so again, we’re just fighting that uphill battle to convince people, and be positive.
In addition, they believe it's the script they are most proud of, and quite vocally stand behind their work. Reese told SlashFilm:
The way I would describe it is to say it’s the best script we’ve ever written and probably ever can write. To us it’s the pinnacle of what we are capable of and we are super proud of it. It will definitely pose a risk, just because it’s an R rated Deadpool and most comic book movies aren’t, but we just think it’s a phenomenal opportunity and we’ve got a wonderful star in Ryan Reynolds and a wonderful director in Tim Miller and we’ve got some wonderful test footage that he did for it. The script is sitting there, we just want it.
So is there anything that might help get the film made? Well, comic creator and producer Mark Millar is said to be overseeing Marvel projects at Fox, and sine Kick-Ass has his fingerprints all over, maybe getting another R-rated comic book flick off the ground won't be so hard. The writers explained:
REESE: We’ve been in touch with Mark, because he’s come on as a consultant for Fox, so we are talking to him and we are….
WERNICK: We are beating that drum. It’s the one project that we are so passionate to get made and we are doing everything we can. We have a few tricks up our sleeves still.
Hopefully those tricks are good enough to get this film off the ground. Their point about Iron Man makes enough sense, but despite Stark's brash, alcoholic behavior being uncharacteristic of a superhero, Deadpool is even more unique. As we've explained, Deadpool is a meta comic book character who knows he's in a comic book, talks to the audience, and isn't just a plain old good guy. To me, that sounds fantastic, but studios are also in the business of making money, and those kind of dark, gritty, strange properties don't always turn up the profits. We'll keep our fingers crossed though. Thoughts?