Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, “Deadpool” tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment leaves him with accelerated healing powers and adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Along with Deadpool fighting in the buff, the film’s torrid scenes between Wade and Vanessa, and Deadpool’s non-stop and off-color verbal stylings, all contribute to the film’s R-rating. “I think the R-rating allows us to have a level of reality that wouldn’t be possible with a PG-13,” says Miller. “I also think it’s an important step in the expansion of the genre. There’s a type of film that can only be made with this rating, and that really expands the boundaries of the stories comic book movies can tell.”
“Deadpool” star and producer Ryan Reynolds has no bigger fan than Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, who has a fun cameo in the film and also serves as an executive producer. “There’s never been a character like Deadpool, and Ryan Reynolds plays him as though he was born to play the role,” says Lee. “Just like Robert Downey, Jr. was born to be Iron Man, you just can’t picture anybody else besides Ryan as Deadpool.”
Reynolds embraced the character’s myriad (and often twisted) facets. “In the comic book world, Deadpool is a man of our time with the ability to spout just the right thing, in terms of a pop culture reference, at the worst possible moment,” he quips. “That’s what makes him interesting to me and also makes him sort of limitless.”
The character’s accessibility is defined partly by his twisted sense of humor. “It really draws you in,” Reynolds notes. “Deadpool has this bright, optimistic outlook on life, even though his life is pretty shitty. I mean, he’s become horribly disfigured from the experiments that gave him his powers. And, he can’t find love and he’s more than a little insane.”
Reynolds’ director is also infused with Deadpoolian traits. “Tim has a bit of Wade Wilson’s acerbic attitude in him,” says Reynolds. “He sort of speaks, moves and talks like him, too. I think that helped Tim access the character. He really understands how to balance the over-the-top action and humor with pathos, because in some ways, Wade Wilson is a tragic character.”
Bringing the exploits of an unconventional superhero to life sometimes created an equally unexpected vibe on set. Notes Stan Lee: “When you see Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds working together, they are both so in sync; they see the movie the same way. It’s though they’re playing a game and each one of them is doing his job so magnificently. When I did my scene in “Deadpool,” I didn’t even know I was working. When it was over, I said, ‘When do we start?’ and Tim said, ‘You’re finished.’ That’s how effortless he makes it seem.”
The filmmakers remain convinced the time is right for this unique movie event. “When comic book movies first appeared, they had to be ‘tentpole’ movies, which had to appeal to the broadest possible audience,” Miller says. “Deadpool was always meant to be an edgy film, and the time is right for it. The genre of superhero and comic book films is wider and it feels like it’s time to do a film like this, that sort of pushes the boundaries a little further.”
Rated R-16 by the local censors board, “Deadpool” is released by 20th Century Fox and distributed by Warner Bros.