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– by David Kozlowski

The goal of any movie franchise is to build upon what came before while addressing its audience’s expectations. In a film like last year’s unconventional (and record-breaking) Deadpool, which kicked the superhero genre squarely in its collective cojones, this poses a real dilemma. Deadpool was successful precisely because it broke with convention and sought to be different; however, the concept of “sequel” generally implies formula.  So how does Deadpool 2’s creative team, including actor Ryan Reynolds, new director David Leitch (John Wick), and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick avoid the sequel trap?  The simple answer: play to your strengths! Deadpool was primarily interested in exploring its characters. Sure, every movie is about characters, but unlike most of the recent superhero films, which thrive on plot and spectacle, Deadpool shoved action and narrative aside to more deeply focus upon its characters and their relationships. I think we can all agree, the driving relationship in Deadpool was the love story between Wade Wilson/Deadpool, as played by Ryan Reynolds, and Vanessa, portrayed by Morena Baccarin.  Vanessa was not only Wilson’s physical and emotional equal, she motivated all of his actions. Therein lies the conundrum. By the end of the film (spoiler alert) Wilson ceases to exist… there is only Deadpool, he’s crossed-over into another character entirely. Consequently, the Wilson and Vanessa relationship cannot continue status quo. How Deadpool 2 handles this core relationship is the key to its success. CinemaBlend recently caught up with Baccarin to ask her about Vanessa’s arc in the sequel:

“I would love to see the evolution of that character… I also think it’s very interesting to see the relationship with her and Wade after the whole thing. His whole demeanor changing. And just how they continue their relationship.”

In the broader Marvel canon, Vanessa becomes the character Copycat, a mutant shape-shifter — an aspect of her character that was not acknowledged or addressed in the original film. However, Copycat is also a key member of the X-Force, another Marvel comic-book adaptation in early development at Fox; although, Copycat has not been revealed as part of that cast (yet). So Copycat could be a viable evolution of her character, which would help Fox and Marvel avoid the pitfalls of trying to re-establish a connection between Wilson and Vanessa, and instead develop a new interaction as Deadpool and Copycat. Baccarin adds:

“Obviously everyone wants to see Copycat. I have no idea if that’s something they have in the works or not.”

With the introduction of several new characters in Deadpool 2, most notably Cable and Domino, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to explore new and different character dynamics. However, fans also want to see where the Deadpool and Vanessa relationship leads. As creative problems go, this is a pretty good one to have (and a critical issue to solve).  It’s certain that Hollywood will be closely watching the performance of Deadpool 2, as it’s been a long time since we’ve had another R-rated superhero sequel: Blade II in 2002. Interestingly, Blade II took a lot of chances with its cast… and ultimately led to 2004’s Blade: Trinity, which you were trying to forget and I just reminded you (you’re welcome).  How do you view the importance of the Wilson and Vanessa relationship? How should it evolve in Deadpool 2? Let us know in the comments down below!

Source: CinemaBlend

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.