How To Bring Deadpool to the Movies

deadpoolscoop Fox Studios has finally given Deadpool an official release date. After years of speculation, talks of an amazing script, and faux progress reports from principle actors and writers this movie is upon us. February 12, 2016 will bring with it either one of the most unique comic book experiences from Fox or possibly its worst. The character of Deadpool is by all means a thing that works extremely well on the pages of a comic book. He has a unique set of circumstances that won't be easy to overcome in a live action movie, but with a bit of light tweaking he has the chance to be a break out hit.

To quickly get an understanding of the nature of the character, lets take a look at the "leaked" (never believed this wasn't anything more than a marketing tactic) test footage. This is pretty spot on Deadpool in just about every way. It even features Ryan Reynolds mo-capping and voicing the character:

The one thing with Deadpool is he, above the average comic book character, changes so drastically depending who is writing him. Deadpool has always been a goofy character, often spending time jumping back and forth from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective to general ninja bad ass. He is extremely comedic and sometimes it can be a bit much. Can audiences stand 1.5 hours of pancakes and chimichanga jokes? While classic fans of the character would likely love it, this is not ideal for a movie for the average movie goer.

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Another issue with Deadpool is that he is completely self-aware. He often breaks the fourth wall (speaks directly to the comic reader or audience). He knows that he is in a comic book and addresses things that happen in the real world from time to time. Its one of the core things about the character that is so vastly different from every other comic book character we've seen on the big screen so far. Some have complained that having that be a factor would ruin the comic book movie universe that Fox has built. I don't think that would be the case. He is largely seen as being insane by mostly everyone he interacts with, so I would play to that aspect in the movie. I am personally a sucker for fourth wall breaking in movies. It just adds a dimension to a run of the mill story that can't be matched. Deadpool lives in that space of uniqueness, this aspect of his personality is a must.

So when I mentioned earlier about the hyper comedic ways that Deadpool is often portrayed I cringe at the thought of having to read his books when he is written that way. It likes too much sugar in your Kool-Aid. Sounds great at first but then you get that weird stomach ache. So how do you address this? Well you can go one of two ways, both with their pros and cons. First you can make Deadpool not a goofy character but rather have him crack just a few jokes and focus on the action. Similar to what Sam Raimi did with Spider-man. In that trilogy Tobey McGuire never really cracked wise while fighting. He had a couple of cheesy quips but all and all he just focused on winning the fight. It seemed to go over well with many non-comic readers, but more hardcore fans missed the Spider-man they know. Another way to address the goofiness is the sanitize Deadpool with a more serious partner. Obviously, that position would be ideal for his old parter Cable; think Lethal Weapon. Deadpool is Riggs and Cable is undoubtedly Murtaugh. The issue here would be a diluting of Deadpool in his own movie. While a buddy cop comic book movie is inevitable and frankly overdue, I don't think for Deadpool's first real outing this makes sense.

So how do we overcome this seemingly massive hurdle of comedy overload? The answer has already been given to us in the form of Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña's Uncanny X-Force run. Mixing together the rather hyper violent and comedic elements of Deadpool, Remender was able to write him in a 'twisted view of the world' sort of way. Never fully going into the routine that of a clown, rather Deadpool danced on that line. Take the image below for example. In this scene Archangel is dying, and Deadpool revives him with some "food."

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Here subtly (this IS subtle for Deadpool) is the key to his twisted humor. I don't recommend that approach for the entire film, but moments like this are what will keep people from getting annoyed and stay true to the character's outlook on life.

The extreme light hearted nature of the character is equally balanced with his propensity for unbelievable violence. In order to make this work the film would seemingly need an R rating. However, rumor has it Fox isn't going to do that, but rather shoot solidly for PG-13. I don't think a PG-13 rating is the end of the world, but it does handicap the project somewhat. With the PG-13 rating we can expect bloodless shootings, fast cutting sword work, and one or two F-bombs. The violence plays as such a key component to his comedic ways that the writing for this will need to be top notch. For the record, the script was written by the guys behind Zombieland (Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese).

Hyper comedy, hyper violence, and a need to speak to the screen makes Deadpool a very risky move for Fox Studios. However, in that risk lies a possibility to adapt a character with a tremendous fan base. The risks are very high, but the reward for a new property in the X-Men universe is very seductive. Come February 12, 2016 will shall see just which way Fox decided to go.

How would you address the issues with translating Deadpool to the big screen? Let us know in the comments!

X-Men First Class sequel could be game changing for Fox

On of the largest issues created by Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 hit, X-Men First Class (XFC), was its absolute mess when it came to X-men continuity. Was XFC connected to the Bryan Singer trilogy? Was it a reboot? Would there be an X-Men 4? All these questions and many others were leading the pack in the minds of many movie goers and fanboys alike. With the release of XFC we got one major answer...yeah, sort of. That should put things to rest, right? WRONG! You have characters that appear in XFC, Havok specifically, who are related to people from the Singer trilogy and yet they aren’t even mentioned. How do you just ignore years of continuity in the comics (messy in it of itself) and create a splintered universe? Well if anybody has the capability to do something that block headed it would be Fox. So with the release of XFC we get to try and pretend that X-Men 1-3 didn’t happen, but we don’t want to because we liked that universe, minus part 3...we hated you part 3...seriously. So how do we move forward without further digging ourselves into the void and missing out of making an X-Men universe that has sound continuity and is fun to watch. I think Fox might just have a proper answer and it's pretty much a genius move.

It is being reported the sequel to XFC will be based on the famous X-Men storyline, Days of Future Past. Here is a quick synopsis from Wikipedia:

The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men's failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future.

So do you see the potential here? Well let’s take a look and see what we can do to make things a little bit more reasonable in the Fox created X-Men universe. In the original story Kitty Pryde is the one to go back in time. This is a problem considering we haven’t introduced her yet and that might take too much time. Remember, we have a universe to fix, no time to fuck around here. So we can change the time traveler to someone(s) else for speed. I suggest instead of Kitty Pryde we chose the original X-Men who aren’t in XFC. So the time travelers would be Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel and of course IceMan. So right away you have the full original X-Men team from the comics back together. Now you take the time to explain the future with the Sentinels and how Cyclops is related to Havok, etc. You can now play up the fact that Havok and Cyclops don’t like each other and that could make for some good sibling rivalry. So how do you handle Professor X and Magneto? Surely, we can’t just ignore Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen’s fantastic portrayals. Due to the fact that two universes are clearly now defined we can just look at those versions of Professor X and Magneto as being trapped in the future. Have those guys make cameos in the beginning and that would be a  nice way to pass the roles onto McAvoy and Fassbender while respecting the former actors. In reality, I’m not so sure how long Stewart and McKellen would want to play those characters anyway, this is a proper out for them.

So now you have the original team: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and IceMan what about actors? I say recast all the ones from the Singer trilogy. IceMan and Angel were so poorly done that now it’s time to start fresh. Cyclops and Jean can be explained by the simple use of time jumping and that they are the Cyclops and Jean from before the events of X-Men 3. Its slightly convoluted but it’s really the only way to do it, or mention that the Phoenix force brought them back but that could be way too much. In addition to the original team (from the comics) you now have Havok and Banshee. This is a pretty good team. You have now buttoned up any issues between the fractured universe and brought in some crowd favorites. Wait. What about Wolverine, we liked him!? Don’t worry, he is the easiest of all. Remember the awesome cameo in XFC? That means he exists in the proper universe and you can pull him in at anytime. Hugh Jackman loves playing Logan so I’m sure a quick call to his agent will get him back to clawing something up in no time. The rest of the story can play just like the original Days of Future Past arc did in the comics. We now have the CGI potential to pull off giant Sentinels and everyone is clamoring to see that on the big screen so let’s give the people what they want. What Fox and Matthew Vaughn were able to accomplish in XFC will pale in comparison to what they could do to bring all their X-Men universe into continuity and give it a proper boot in the ass that time travel did for J.J. Abrams Star Trek.

Final word: At the end of XFC’s sequel all they need to do is say that the time travelers are stuck and just continue to move forward with future films.