Ryan Reynolds on ‘Deadpool’: ‘It’s like “Barfly” if it were a superhero movie’

Sept. 14, 2010 | 2:21 p.m.
ryan reynolds as deadpool1 Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool: Its like Barfly if it were a superhero movie

Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool (Fox)

Ryan Reynolds hopes to be  the face of two competing superhero franchises with “Green Lantern” and “Deadpool” but, after reading the gleefully subversive script for the latter, he isn’t too concerned about moviegoers getting the characters confused.

“It goes in such a different direction than a superhero movie usually goes,” Reynolds said over lunch recently at 101 Coffee Shop. “It’s a nasty piece of work. It’s just based in so much emotional filth, completely. It’s like ‘Barfly‘ if it were a superhero movie. It sort of treads into the world of an emotionally damaged person.  I always say that Deadpool is a guy in a highly militarized shame spiral…. It’s so different than the superhero movies to date, it departs so far from that.”

deadpool teddy gun Ryan Reynolds on Deadpool: Its like Barfly if it were a superhero movie

Deadpool in action (Marvel Comics)

In “Green Lantern,” due next summer, Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, the cocky but courageous test pilot who becomes the first human member of the Green Lantern Corps, an interstellar peacekeeping group armed with power rings capable of almost anything. “Deadpool,” meanwhile, with a script by the “Zombieland” writing tandem Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, is far less ennobled and much more unsettling, judging by Reynolds’ description.

The Marvel character is a killer for hire with a wicked wit — he’s nicknamed “the merc with a mouth” — and healing ability that makes him almost impossible to kill.  The antihero, manufactured by a sinister government program to be a murderous machine, is mentally unstable and morally slippery, which makes for an interesting challenge for the actor.

“With Deadpool, it’s a lot like going to prison for the first day,” Reynolds said. “You got to walk up and hit the biggest guy you see to establish a bit of cred. With Deadpool, early on you have to establish that moral flexibility. There’s a gamble to it — you’re going to lose a few people right at the beginning but you take the gamble and know that eventually you’re going to win them back. You won’t lose the hard-core fans of the character, they already know who he is. We have to play to a broader audience than that. As an actor you have to be willing to do something like … back in Vancouver we used to call it a [nasty] burger. ‘You gotta eat the [nasty] burger to get to the cookies.’ And yes, I want to write a cookbook about that…”

Last year, Reynolds portrayed Deadpool in the Twentieth Century Fox film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” and Fox has circled 2012  for the release of the character’s first solo film. The project is still taking shape and Robert Rodriguez has been in talks to direct but the deal has yet to be inked and the filmmaker’s schedule is a dense thicket with a number of projects already in place. Rodriguez has praised the “Deadpool” screenplay but only time will tell if he will be the one to direct it.

The new film won’t be beholden to the events depicted in “Wolverine” in any way, Reynolds said, and, yes, fans can expect the character to break the fourth wall and address the audience at times like some sort of deranged Ferris Bueller armed with katana swords. That habit of talking straight to the audience was a hallmark of Deadpool in the comics, although after delving into the comics-rack history of the character Reynolds found that very few things have remained constant in the chronology of a character created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza but taken in many different directions by other creators.

“The comics are very inconsistent in the writing,” Reynolds said.  “All the different writers, different voices, but at the core of the character his heart is really interesting.  He’s the funniest guy you’ll ever meet, too, and for me that’s exciting but it’s not as hard as capturing that moral flexibility, which  is so important. He hasn’t really experienced the full spectrum of human emotion the way most people do.”

— Geoff Boucher


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18 Responses to Ryan Reynolds on ‘Deadpool’: ‘It’s like “Barfly” if it were a superhero movie’

  1. Nathan Daniels says:

    It won't be beholden to the events in WOLVERINE in any way? Why not? Wasn't that the point of introducing him in that film?

    • Edward says:

      Yeah, deadpool NEVER had cyclopses laser eye nonsense. He couldn't teleport like wraith (he does have a teleportation DEVICE oftentimes), his swords were never up in his arms like wolverine's claws. And how are you going to take "the merc with a mouth" and sew his mouth up? The wolverine origins version of deadpool was a freaking abomination. All deadpool has outside the ordinary is a version of wolverine's healing factor (which actually works better than wolverine's most of the time, because the adamantium on wolverine's skeleton slows his down a little). Because of that he's stronger and more agile because he can train non-stop and never get tired.

      And as far as there being multiple versions of deadpool in comics…that's not exactly true. The pure deadpool comics have held pretty steady up until this last year or so, with a few minor exception. Granted he's had some differences, but it's more of a moral/emotional development process than a complete change in who he is. The appearances DP has made have been pretty far-fetched in some cases though. And I blame those on the writers of those particular series not getting input from the current DP writer at the time. If you know any thing about alignments in gaming, just think Chaotic Neutral with the propensity and intentions to be Chaotic Good recently.

    • Tim says:

      Not at all…they realized they screwed him up in that movie.

  2. Micah says:

    Yes, but no one liked that version of Deadpool because it isn't Deadpool. You try and create this thing and slap someone's name on it, doesn't make it that thing. In fact, that Deadpool had less in common with his comic counterpart than the American Godzilla had with his Japanese counterpart. They want to rectify the mistakes they made and make a good Deadpool movie. Even if they had a good script, good acting, good directing, etc. and they left Deadpool the same way as they had him in XO:W, the movie would still be unwatchable.

    • Bill says:

      Exactly Micah! Thanks for that great response. So excited that they are acting like Wolverine never happened. Because that TRULY wasn't Deadpool, and wasn't a worthy film of the X-Men franchise either. I can't wait to see how they start off.

  3. USAgent says:

    What do you mean, "The movie would be unwatchable" ?!?!?! Have YOU ever even sniffed a big-budget production? Have you edited so much as a youtube flick? I'm sick of geek fanboys who think they define all of moviedom based on their nerdy, control-freakish, a-retentive own ideas and comic worldviews. Get a freaking life. If "no one" liked the Wolverine movie version of Deadpool, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE CAST RYAN REYNOLDS IN THIS FILM. The contrary truth is, there was such a buzz about Reynolds as Deadpool, they were inspired to make a film.

    It may be "unwatchable" to you, to which I say: STAY YOUR OLD TAIL HOME. Continue to conpare/contrast old godzilla films while the rest of the world WATCHES Reynolds reprise his role as DEADPOOL.

    • caleb says:

      K, dude. chill. The fact of the matter is that ryan reynolds can play a great deadpool and the way he played him was great. the part that the "nerdy, control-freakish, a-retentive" people are talking about is the fact that his powers were completely screwed up. In the comics he did not have laser vision or katanas coming out of his knuckles. That is what upset people. and while I think some people may have over reacted to this, the reason to make a movie about deadpool is not because of the buzz about ryan reynolds, it was because deadpool is a bad ass and hilarious. I think the changes they will make are with his powers being back to the way they should be

  4. Jason says:

    They are basically going cannon over that Deadpool Character In Wolverine. I'm really looking forward to Reynolds Deadpool, and with him breaking the fourth Wall, it is all adding up to something special.

  5. Kyle says:

    Ryan Is the Perfect pick for Deadpool and im sure when they do the deadpool spinoff he will stay faithful to the comics cuz he is a huge fan i would love to see him pull off the Sick/Dark/funny sense of humor that deadpool has

  6. Jason says:

    They are basically going cannon over that Deadpool Character In Wolverine. I'm really looking forward to Reynolds Deadpool

  7. Mogan says:

    Maybe they're doin' like they did with "Hulk" versus "The Incredible Hulk"? Ya know, making one an alternate reality or something stupid like that.

  8. moneyspyder says:

    not unwatchable but maybe not as good.if they dont continue though its gonna lose alot of people.they could just make those extra powers temporary ones or something…..looking forward ti this.but i garantee its not gonna be a big deal moneymaker though cause its gotta be rated r

  9. Laqueesha Jackson says:



    on a sidenote Ryan Reynolds is so dreamy

  10. The Dude says:

    Nice to hear from Reynolds. I bet he has been sitting there going "WTF" with all these rumours of him not making Deadpool anymore. The guy has been campaigning for this film for the best part of a decade.

    It's cool that he is talking about the actual character and uniqueness of Deadpool, not just the superficial stuff. A character like Deadpool is a breath of fresh air for the formulaic and cliche superhero movie genre. The genre NEEDS a movie like Deadpool.

  11. C. Logan Aube says:

    Agreed with Micah. The Deadpool from XO:W bore absolutely no resemblance to the comic book character, and I like that Fox is planning to rectify that.

    If Fox does Deadpool right, this movie could be epic funny/cool.

    Of course, it could easily stink.

  12. Captain Deadpool says:

    Personally, I think Fox would be wise to forget EVERYTHING that happened in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It woundn’t be too hard, because the only thing memorable about the movie was how they butchered Deadpool’s image. “Hey, it was Wolverine’s movie anyway!” you say?

    Well, I think I speak for Deadpool when I say, “He can keep it.”

  13. Manderzkins says:

    Okay, so I saw some absolutely ridiculous arguments here, but the one that takes the cake is the entire "They would not cast Ryan Reynolds if". What kind of a moron are you? Either you haven't actually read any of the articles or the movie, or you just haven't paid any attention. Ryan Reynolds has been the one PUSHING this project. From what Ive heard, Deadpool is his DREAM role, as he is a huge fan. He wouldn't of let them have it any other way.

    On another note, I absolutely agree that they need to deviate from the Cesspool that they created at the end of the Wolverine movie. But don't get me started there, because have the crackers they wrote into that movie were pulled out of some morons nether regions.

    However, the begining of the film did have some good points for Deadpool. Wadey sounded like Wadey. So they got the pre-genetically altered Wade right. Give em cred there. But yeah, they massacred the rest. But hey, as the someone said above, its a big budget production. They dont care who Wade is, or if they even came close to being anywhere near being right. They just care about making the biggest buck for their bang.

    Fortunately for us, Ryan has been spearpointing the Deadpool movie, so there is hope that it will be a lot more Wade, and a lot less Clueless Writers poetic license. Hes said so in other interviews. Hes a huge fan of Deadpool himself, so whatever irks us, is probably going to irk him as well. So hey, rejoice!

  14. rSd says:

    One of the things that authors say about movies of their work is that you have to accept that they are two different mediums. As a fan of the X-Men comics but not an expert on the history, I went to the films solely for one reason…to be entertained. And when we talk about history, we have to remember that the one in question is entirely fictional.
    While hardcore fans may not like many of the changes and spend hours bitching about the glaring mistakes in character, the less knowlegable see the films simply for the story or the actors or the special effects. This isn't "end of the world" drama that calls for such over the top anger because a character does not reflect the comic version 100%.
    But think about this, for all of you who are saying "I'm not wasting my time on this trash". If you are a true fan, you will embrace and support the movies while giving your feedback about aligning the presentation with what the comics presented, otherwise the franchise will be labeled DOA and that will be the end of more X-Men on screen. And THAT would be the real tragedy.

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