What They Need to Do to Make ‘Deadpool’ Work on the Big Screen

Since the abomination that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, word has been that a Deadpool movie would be on its way. Since Wade Wilson’s appearance at the beginning of the movie was pretty much the only salvageable part of the film (and we can all just pretend that everything at the end didn’t happen), it does make sense to bring Ryan Reynolds back to take on the role. In current Marvel continuity, Deadpool has lost his healing factor which means the scars that cover his face are gone and he can appear as a normal person.

This is a huge asset to any film with a known actor taking on the headline role as it gives legitimacy to him being seen without the full costume on at all times. Frankly, no one was really looking forward to seeing the fully scared up Deadpool face on screen when the mask came off anyway. But in some ways the actor portraying Deadpool is low on the list of concerns in regard to what is needed to make this character actually work for a full feature length film.

One of the most challenging aspects of Deadpool is going to be his inner dialogue that goes on between Wade and the two insane voices in his head. One reason it works so well in comics is the visual cue. Deadpool has his own distinctive speech bubble and each of the two voices has their own design to their respective caption box as well. Even when ‘Pool is talking under a mask, it is easily identifiable which of the three is talking. The problem that appears in a movie is that when the film is in motion and Deadpool is talking under a mask, it is going to be a challenge to identify three different voices on screen.

The solution comes either in the form of visual cues like they appear in the comic (which could further help with the 4th wall dilemma, scan down further) or establishing the three distinct voices right off the bat. For the visual cues, caption boxes can basically pop up on the screen to show the distinct voice and let people know that isn’t just Ryan Reynolds talking under the mask. The other option is starting the film with Deadpool have a full conversation with himself and the two voices which must sound drastically different from Reynolds. This conversation would help explaining both the mentality of the character for new audience members as well as the concept of a protagonist who will spend the better part of a movie talking to himself as he does with his villains.

Another challenge is going to be how Deadpool breaks the fourth wall. Comic fans know that this is a common occurrence in any books that Deadpool headlines, though when he is a part of an ensemble cast like Uncanny X-Force, it tends to go away. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine this aspect of the character wasn’t explored. Only his unique sense of humor with funny quips and the incredible fighting ability were really looked at.

There is one small reference in one of the three post-credit scenes where Deadpool’s head opens its eyes and quietly shushes the camera. Again, this is something that is going to need to be addressed early on in the film. It needs to be established that the audience isn’t just hearing Deadpool’s thoughts but that he is actually taking the time to turn towards the camera and speak directly to the audience.

Finally, the creative team on the film needs to decide just how much of Deadpool’s hallucinations will play a part in the movie. One of the parts of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World that worked well for fans of the series but was totally lost upon new viewers was the “video game effects” that just made their way into Scott’s world. In Deadpool, the same problem could occur. Of any of the three aspects that could be left out of the film without being a detriment to the character, the hallucinations could be it.

Already having two voices in his head and breaking the fourth wall to talk to the audience may be a bit hard for casual movie-goers to swallow. It might be a safe gamble to remove these as they have lessened recently in the comics which means the comic audience won’t be offended by their absense and keeping them in could further confuse this non-top-tier character to a new audience.

While they may all find their way into the Deadpool video game from High Moon, the film version Deadpool needs to appeal more to the mainstream to be a success. There are going to be challenges right off the bat trying to get people to see this movie. Ryan Reynold’s last super hero flick was a bomb and the Green Lantern is a much better known property to non-comic fans. The Deadpool name is one that most households would have never even heard of. His name was a throwaway line in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and only now is he starting to become a more prominent character in comics and the video game world. It will be interesting to see just what path they take in branding him to the wider audience.

As of right now, the Deadpool movie is still in development limbo. While it has a creative team, there is no cast aside from Ryan Reynolds. This will be one of those movies that may or may not ever make it to the completed product. It has already been three years since X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Although, the further this movie gets away from that may be for the better.

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