Deadpool is probably the most anticipated superhero film ever that has yet to be made. This is partly due to rumors suggesting the film was in development, only to be shut down after months of speculation, and then development news sprouting back up. This film has definitely become a big tease with no payoff, unless of course a film does get made.
Recently Ryan Reynolds, every fan’s favorite casting choice to play the Merc with a Mouth, told MTV he wants the movie to happen, but the longer time passes since X-Men Origins: Wolverine was released the less likely it will be produced. This suggests Deadpool might have been in the cards to be part of a set of Origin films, but lets hope the recent announcement of The Wolverine getting a start date will increase the odds of the Deadpool movie being made.
In some twisted way, a sequel to this might actually be a good thing.
Adventures in Poor Taste recently had a look at the script, and after entering all the facts into our Probability Lab to see if the script shows any sign of being the badass film we’ve all dreamed it would be, the results sadly came back with some inherent problems that could hold this picture back. And by problems we don’t mean problems with Deadpool, but problems with Hollywood.
For starters, this movie is filled with gore, filthy language, sexual content and a hero that isn’t as brand-able as the likes of Superman or Batman. Probably the biggest deterrent of a studio dropping 80 million on a Deadpool production would be the fact that the hero is horribly scarred and commits gruesome murder throughout the picture. That’s a tough sell and with an R rating it’s going to be tough to make its money back. Unless of course the movie rocks everyone socks off and becomes a must-see film ala Inglourious Basterds.
It was recently revealed test footage exists, which is a good sign. But how does the script stack up? Spoiler warning!
Three Reasons Why This Script Would Work
1. Deadpool is Insane.
Well, obviously. Or as ‘Pool would say: “No shinola, Sherlock.” If you’ve ever picked up a Deadpool comic you’ll note the first word that came to mind that could describe Deadpool: “insane.” His main trademark is Looney Tunes nuts, mixed with a self-awareness that creates comedy gold. Based on the script this is going to contain plenty of nutty to satiate fans. For instance, at one point Deadpool is about to strike on some enemies when he says…
This s--t… is bananas.
EXT. Freeway overpass – Day
Deadpool watches from his spot on the edge as the convoy approaches.
He very CASUALLY gets up as if standing out of an easy chair…
…and DROPS an entire level DOWN…
…Through the WINDSHIELD of the first ESCALADE in the convoy.
There are four HUGE BAD-ASSES inside the S.U.V., two in the front, two behind. They stare, in SHOCK, as Deadpool lands on the center console in a HAILSTORM of GLASS.
Hola! Me llamo Gabriela. Donde esta la biblioteca?
(subtitled, in Yellow, of course:)
Hello. My name is Gabriela. Where is the library?
The character really leaps off the page and is very likeable. As long as the director portrays the bad guys as mindless drones no one should have a problem with the amount of violence Deadpool bestows on them. How can you hate a character who is self-aware of how silly a costume can be…
(to the thugs)
You’re probably wondering. Why the red suit? It’s so if you shoot me, you can’t see me bleed.
(points to thug)
This guy has the idea. He wore the brown pants.
He definitely maintains moral ambiguity that most heroes couldn’t pull off. At one point, after chasing a bad guy over vehicles in a motorcycle chase scene the bad guy grabs a little boy and holds a pistol to his head.
DEADPOOL REACTS by…
…opening ANOTHER car door, grabbing a LITTLE GIRL, and holding HIS pistol to HER head.
(looks down, to girl:)
Sweet kicks! Heelys?
There’s definitely enough nuttiness in this movie to sell the character as a funny anti-hero that can be enjoyed rather than leave a bad taste in viewers mouths.
2. The movie is aware of what X-Men Origins: Wolverine did to the character.
In an early scene the film flashbacks to Deadpool remembering one of the worst things that happened to him:
…a CLOSE-UP of a Deadpool ACTION FIGURE from ‘Wolverine Origins.’ Mouth sewn shut. Blades implanted into the wrists.
A little piece of me curled up and died the day this came out.
We PULL OUT to reveal that wade is referring NOT to the action figure, but to WHAM!’s ‘Music From the Edge of Heaven’ LP, which he is now holding.
It refers to the film that seemingly destroyed the Deadpool character, but then makes a joke about Wham (taking the exclamation point off their name). It’s just cheeky enough to work. Throughout the film Deadpool envies the hot body of Hugh Jackman and it’s all in good fun. It’s definitely a nice touch, as comic nerds will adore the nods and anyone who has seen Origins will at least understand the reference.
3. This is a true comic book movie.
While the movie doesn’t make a big stink about Deadpool’s powers, they’re definitely a factor throughout the film. It’s treated tastefully so it’s not a burden on the believability of the film, and really the main threat that is Deadpool is his fighting and gun toting abilities anyway. As it should be. The action is definitely exciting, many scenes reading like The Matrix lobby shootout, only with a bit of humor and a lot more gory violence.
A major story element that’s taken up in the film is Deadpool’s obsession with being considered a superhero. To reflect on this subject, and to represent a real hero, Colossus is used. Colossus is treated like a boy scout who is disappointed with Deadpool’s actions. At one point Coloussus says,
With qualities like yours, you could have joined us, been a super-hero.
Tell ya what. The day I decide to become a crime-fighting s--t-swizzler who rooms with 44 other little whiners at the Neverland mansion of some creepy old bald Heavens-Gate-looking mother-fucker… on that day… I’ll send your shiny, happy ass a friend request. ‘Til then, I’m gonna do what I came here to. Either that or slap the bitch outta you.
These two go together like peas and carrots. Deadpool being the curled up gross carrot everyone uses as a phallic reference/joke, of course.
Ouch. Deadpool definitely has the same attitude he had in the 90’s. There’s also plenty of characters straight from the books, including…
But who is Deadpool without his sidekicks?! Everyone breathe a sigh of relief as Blind Al is in the movie. While the character isn’t hugely important to the movie, she adds just enough wit and buddy humor to show Deadpool’s lighter side. Based on how the script uses Blind Al in physical comedy one could also come to the conclusion the movie is going to have a more cartoony feel. Showing an old woman getting a door slammed in her face is going to take a sure hand to make it funny. Weasel also appears, and his story actually has an arc that’s enjoyable.
Blind Al will make an appearance!
Another element that gives the script a comic book feel is that it’s not trying to do too much. So many films, be it X-Men, the 90’s Batman films or Iron Man 2, try to add so many story elements and villains by films end you’re trying to get a bingo on your Exposition and Plot Points bingo card. It’s clear the films main purpose is to entertain the hell out of the audience, second to introduce a characters origin and third to tell a decent good guys versus bad guys story. It uses flashbacks and montages effectively enough to express everything efficiently and simply.
It also uses some visual cues to hearken back to the comic. For instance, in a flashback showing Deadpool getting his first kill the script reads,
As Deadpool turns to go, the entire FRAME morphs into a COMIC BOOK COVER of the exact same moment: Deadpool #1.
Sometimes these references to comics can be cool but too self-indulgent. Here it’s used so sparingly it’s more-so just a cool reference than a blatant reference to remind us it all started as a comic. And don’t you forget it!
So will it knock our socks off?
My only reservation as far as the success of the script to screen is a bad director could really mess this up. It’s pretty clear after reading the first 20 or so pages it’s going to take a director with a great handle of filmmaking to pull this off. Those first 20 pages open with an action sequence that has so many slow-motion-to-regular-speed-back-to-slow-motion shots that things could get very confusing and messy fast. The film also doesn’t take place in a lot of locations, so the director will only have a few locations to define the look and feel of the film.
Another aspect that’s missing is Deadpool’s internal monologues with himself. Gone are his completely insane conversations in his own head that end up with Deadpool shouting something and making everyone uncomfortable. I’d wager the screenwriters assumed they displayed his insanity well enough to withhold the extra crazy the internal monologue would have created. I’d have to agree, he’s definitely crazy but not too crazy, but any fan hoping for Deadpool conversations with himself should be ready for a bit of a disappointment.
On the bright side, there are very specific uses of music throughout the script which tend to show a vision that will be easily translated to film.
The humor is already started with the song selection, as this will play over horrible torture enacted on Wade in montage form. Later, before a big shootout at one point the script reads,
We hear the first kick-ass notes of DMX’s ‘X Gon Give It to Ya.’ The kind of song that says ‘shooting spree.’
So the atmosphere and mood should be handled quite well.
Another worrisome aspect is the potential minuscule budget a film like this will get. Anyone who has seen either Punisher film will tell you, if they threw another 20 million in for better action sequences and cooler effects they would have at least been more entertaining, albeit dumb action films; much more entertaining at least. This film is going to require some heavy special effects to work effectively, be it buildings crashing down, slow motion spinning cameras or super villains using their powers. Because it’s going to have to be rated R there’s a high chance a studio will only want to take a 30 million dollar chance on this flick. If so the already small plot and story that the script contains will only get smaller in boisterous action. That could fatally gimp this film.
I’m holding out hope that since the script is filled with so many cool moments, it will be impossible to ruin the film. At the end of the day, this script is very tight and there isn’t any fat. There’s just enough montages, flashbacks and witty humor to keep things fresh throughout. And with funny cultural references like this…
DEADPOOL is suddenly distracted by the sight of Colossus getting his ass kicked outside.
Someone’s been P90X-ing.
…it should be in good hands no matter what.