When Ryan Reynolds debuted as Deadpool in 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," fans weren't exactly happy. While Reynolds had long been the fans' choice to play the Merc with a Mouth, the version of the character presented in the solo Wolverine film was so far removed from the comics that he was nearly unrecognizable. As a major Deadpool fan himself, Reynolds knew this was the case as we was being fitted for weird body tattoos and arm swords and having his mouth sewn shut.
In a new feature at GQ, the actor recalled what it was like working on the feature film as part of a larger discussion about what it took to get Wade Wilson on the big screen.
Reynolds revealed that since the film was written during the WGA strike, he had to write all of his dialogue on set as he performed scenes. "I mean, in the stage directions it just said, 'Deadpool shows up, talks really fast, and makes a lot of jokes.'"
The opening scenes with Wade Wilson pre-transformation, Reynolds said, mostly worked. "At the beginning of that movie, that’s pretty close to Deadpool’s Wade Wilson -- we’re in the ballpark with that guy. But it completely departed all canon and reason and he wound up being this abomination of Deadpool that was like Barakapool, with his mouth sewn shut and weird blades that came out of his hands and these strange tattoos and stuff like that."
But Reynolds said he had no choice at the time. There were no plans for a solo Deadpool film and if he wanted to play the character, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was it. "The conversation at the time was “If you want to play Deadpool, this is your chance to introduce him. And if you don’t want to introduce him in this fashion, we’ll have someone else play him.”
Reynolds' reservations abotu how Fox handled the character proved to be true, as the actor revealed. "That movie leaked online a month and a half before it was supposed to be released, and all these people saw it and were so upset about Deadpool," said Reynolds. "I was in Mexico with some friends, and I was called by the chief of the studio, who said, 'You have to get on a plane right now. We need to re-shoot the very end of the movie.” I was such a douche, because I was like, 'I told you so.' I still get angry, because I remember saying, 'You know, there are more Deadpool fans out there than you realize, and they’re not gonna be happy with this.' I was met with a plausible reason, which was: 'We don’t have enough time to develop a proper Deadpool suit and make him the fully realized version of the comic, so we’re going with this.' But I was like, 'Then don’t do it at all!'"
Thankfully, almost seven years after the disappointment of "Wolverine: Origins," the Merc with a Mouth got his own feature film -- and it was a smash hit. "Deadpool" grossed $782.6 million worldwide and a sequel's on the way.