Here’s What the Deadpool Movie HAS to Have to Succeed

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in Deadpool, Movies

News broke yesterday that the long-in-limbo Deadpool movie has finally gotten a release date. Twentieth Century Fox will (hopefully properly) bring Wade Wilson to the big screen in February of 2016, making it the early favorite for best romantic comedy of the Valentine’s season. Here are 5 things that the Deadpool movie HAS to have to be considered a success:

Humor

Prior to the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere, The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World had the most LOL moments in Marvel movie memory. Each topped out at a handful of humorous moments, maybe more if you’re really into Loki’s schtick. DC and Warner Bros. excluded, comic book movies have begun to exhibit more of a sense of self-awareness, and thus, a sense of humor as of late. Deadpool needs to not only push the needle here, but set a new bar.

deadpool funny

If a Deadpool film is not one of the funniest comic book movies we’ve ever seen, then the essence of the Wade Wilson character was misinterpreted by the filmmakers. By nature, some of Wilson’s jokes will be intentional swings-and-misses, but the overarching humor needs to land with audiences for the franchise to succeed.

 

At LEAST a PG-13 Rating 

Adding an R rating to our Deadpool movie demands might be like scrawling “USS FLAGG” on every Christmas and birthday wish list from 1985 – 1989: it probably won’t happen. Regardless, the envelope can be pushed with a PG-13 rating, and Deadpool needs to test those limits. One of the character’s defining traits is his ability to regenerate (it’s right there in his tagline: “The Merc with a Mouth, the Regeneratin’ Degenerate…”). That said, it’s only compelling to watch him regenerate from horrific injuries, because if we wanted to see someone overcome a minor wound we’d just watch an old Bactine commercial.

deadpool elephant

Deadpool’s on screen injuries need to invoke a “NO WAY he comes back from that but I CAN’T WAIT to see how he comes back from that” feeling with audiences. A healing factor is nothing new to comic book moviegoers, so to make it engaging it has to feel fresh and cross new boundaries.

 

An X-Cameo

Twentieth Century Fox insisting on hoarding these Marvel Comics characters that they have the film rights to is kind of like when your little brother used to bogart your Game Boy (or PSP or Nintendo 3DS, whatever gen you are) as if he knew how to play with it. He just knew it was something rad that all of the cool kids were into, but had no idea what to do with it.

deadpool wolverine movie

As a long-time Deadpool comics fan, I’d much prefer that Marvel Studios had the film rights to his character, as I’d be more confident that they’d effectively adapt him to the big screen. But, since Fox continues to squat on these properties that they don’t know what to do with, all we can do is HOPE that Fox does ‘Pool justice. Since he’ll exist in the same film universe as The X-Men, we could at least hope for a Wolverine cameo to help give viewers a sense of a shared universe, and thus the implication that Wade could show up in future X-Men (and the X-Force) film.

For as much internet and social media ink as he gets, Deadpool is not actually a mainstream character, and could use the help of a recognized film character to “get him over” on the big screen.

 

A REALLY Convincing Villain

Deadpool is more accurately classified as a comic book “antihero” than “superhero”. Films have been made about such characters in the past, but non-hardcore Deadpool fans will have to be given adequate and convincing reason to root for our main character. Wade Wilson is a pretty deplorable guy in a lot of ways, and while he tends to “make things right” in the end, he’s consistently adding to a formidable portfolio of bad decisions along the way.

What a hero of questionable morals such as Deadpool needs is a REALLY good villain. What’s worrisome is that the Marvel Comics version of Deadpool does not sport as strong a gallery of rogues as other protagonists, mainly because he’s not always the protagonist. Some of Deadpool’s most storied rivalries are with Wolverine, Hulk and other Marvel heroes, as well as one-off type capers in which his initial goal is to commit a villainous deed, but ends up double-crossing someone in favor of a “good guy” ending. In many ways, Deadpool’s greatest enemy is himself, and it would take a HELL of a script and some damn good direction to pull off “Deadpool” as Deadpool’s movie villain.

deadpool vs hulk_opt

Deadpool is at his best during times of introspection, especially when he has decided that the mercenary life he has embarked on (or was placed on) is not for him. Weapon X, the clandestine group responsible for Deadpool’s “situation” would probably serve as the best villain here, although filmgoers may feel as though Wolverine has already fought that fight. Taskmaster has been suggested by many fans, but I see him as more of a rival mercenary for Wade to play off of, and a way to establish Deadpool as “the lesser of many evils”.

 

Bob, Agent of HYDRA

To be considered a success (critically, box office, or otherwise), Deadpool will need strong supporting characters. We’ve mentioned Taskmaster and Weapon X, and I’d assume each will be present in some varying capacity. While one of Wade’s signature traits is his inner dialogue (I say “dialogue” as opposed to “monologue” because it’s truly presented as Wade having a conversation with a whole other Wade), he will still need someone to play off of externally. A love interest would probably feel forced, not that it lacks source material, but it might feel too early in the Deadpool story. What he needs is an ally who he fails to appreciate. What he needs is Bob, Agent of HYDRA, although he may be contractually (and confusingly) unavailable.

 

Deadpool vs Iron Man, Deadpool vs Wolverine images via AngryRabbitGmoD

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

bmorin54 September 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

I hope to see a lot of Deadpool merchandise when the movie nears.

Reply

@eclectik September 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

1 Comment?! Cmon!

Okay, so I agree on PG-13 … you need as many people to see it as possible anyway
The injuries can be cut screens and him crawling back into the view or something.

I would say it needs pop culture references and cameos

If they cannot find a good enough villain, they can go with Cable

Need a good amount of talking to the audience

AND Needs someone confusing him for Spiderman and Daredevil

I hate that this is not a Marvel property, it pisses me off, I almost wish Marvel would just create “new characters” for their universe “Redpool” and “Balactus” …

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