Praise be to whatever God did it but Deadpool is out and it is absolutely incredible. This Sisyphean task that took over a decade to come to fruition is not only thrilling audiences worldwide but it is making a ton of money. Not Star Wars money but considering the production budget for the movie was a measly 58 million; 280 million is a pretty good return on investment. And all of this success despite the fact that the movie was about a third tier comic book character, staring an actor in a dip in his career, and was rated R which cut out a sizable portion of paying customers. Though we could analyze what made this film so successful, I’m gonna simplify it: Fox’s ambivalence to the property, some kick-ass marketing, and a genuinely good movie.
If you’re one of the three people who didn’t like Deadpool—lookin’ at you Richard Roeper, then you just don’t like Deadpool and you shouldn’t have been in that theatre in the first place. For everyone else out there, that was as authentic a Deadpool experience as will ever be on the big screen. I’m not gonna spoil the movie but I will say that everything about the character was true to form and the story played out in a way only a Deadpool story could. And the reason being was that everyone involved absolutely loved the character. From Director Tim Miller’s comic book industry cred to Ryan Reynolds relentless work to bring Deadpool to the big screen, there was so much dedication to getting this movie right. Ryan was the one who pushed hard for the R rating. He fought Fox as they tried to pull back to a PG-13 because he knew this was the way the story had to be told. And the only reason he got away with so much was because Fox really didn’t have a clue themselves.
Let’s recap, Deadpool was a character under the “X-Men” umbrella and thus was part of the package deal with Fox. And ever since then Fox has been determined not to give a shit about the character. It started fairly early on when they simply wouldn’t even acknowledge his existence but then got turned up to eleven when they heard the fan outcry for the character. We should have all been suspicious of Amazing X-Men Origins the Return of the Fellowship of the Wolverine when Ryan Reynolds was cast as Deadpool yet there wasn’t a single frame of him in a red and black mask. The treatment of Deadpool in that movie belayed an acute misunderstanding of Fox on the character, they simply wanted to slap the name on the franchise. So when the movie was dismissed just as quickly as it came, plans for further Deadpool were burned to ash. So began six years of development Hell, cycling directors in and out, leaked scripts and wave after wave of rumors. Through all of this time, the major obstacle to making a Deadpool movie was Fox itself. So after all of this it seems a bit disingenuous to me when executives at Fox start taking credit for any of the actual achievements in the movie.
“The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”
That’s a quote circling from an anonymous executive at Fox. Not only does it make me want to find this sanctimonious ass hat and force feed him the script to Guardians of the Galaxy, but it disheartens me on an existential level. This quote implies Fox attributes Fox studios to the success of Deadpool and not the endless effort of the people making the movie. Let’s not forget that these are the same people who nearly assassinated the character before finally relenting and giving the film less budget than the Catwoman movie—look it up. These are the same people who given the chance would have changed everything about this movie that made it successful. And that’s why I have to say this: I’m okay with there being only one good Deadpool movie. I say this knowing full well that Fox has greenlit a sequel and rumors that they want to make everything R rated now. True, the sequel might come out and be even more incredible than the first. But if it doesn’t I think it’s still great that we got one. Considering how improbable it would even happen in the first place, it’s an accomplishment on par with the moon landing, building the Burj Khalifa, and watching a marathon of the Lord of The Rings movies—director’s cut. So celebrate! We as Americans—and also Canadians, made a cinematic masterpiece that had a unicorn masturbation joke. U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!