– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Of all the superhero movies coming out in the next year, there is one that stands out from them all: “Deadpool.” Unlike all the other big blockbuster comic book movies from Marvel, DC, and Fox, “Deadpool” is perfectly content to be irreverent, ultra-violent, and tongue-in-cheek. With its R-rating and relatively low budget, it couldn’t be much farther from your standard fare. And at the forefront of this project, of course, is its star, Ryan Reynolds. But to a project like “Deadpool,” Reynolds was much more than just your standard leading man: he was also producer, spearheader, and all-around cheerleader for the project since its inception.

But before “Deadpool” production began, Reynolds was also well known in the comic book fan community for a certain fiasco that will not be named: “Green Lantern.” Reynolds has since opened up about the project, and even pokes some fun at it in the “Deadpool” trailer, but in a recent interview with GQ, he talks about whether or not he actually regrets his decision to play Hal Jordan.

“I mean, I don’t give a rusty f**k, because—I know that this is gonna sound like some sort of guy who’s spent a little bit of time in a monastery or something, but it all led to here. If I had to do it all again, I’d do the exact same thing. You know, also,Green Lantern—you gotta remember, at the time, everyone was gunning for that role. The guys I was screen-testing against are amazing talents. But would I change it? No! And if it was as big a success, then it might have offered a whole different avenue of opportunities, or maybe I would just be kind of always that guy. I really don’t know.”

So did that experience ever make him hesitant to take on the role of Deadpool?

“A little bit. But ‘Deadpool’ was different because there wasn’t a big budget attached to it. There was not a tremendous responsibility to meet some kind of bottom line. Those kinds of superhero movies when you’re out front, there’s a vast and quite frightening budget attached to them. This one had a super-reasonable budget, and it was subversive and a little bit different, and to me a little refreshing in the comic-book world. But you always have trepidation. When you’re out front, you have trepidation.”

Another aspect in which Deadpool differs from all the other onscreen superheroes is also the man’s appearance. While, yes, Ryan Reynolds is indeed quite the handsome man, the Merc with the Mouth himself isn’t so handsome by the time he dons the costume. This is an aspect of the character that Reynolds found liberating.

“Because the character is called the Merc with a Mouth, and you have to explain that somehow. He can’t just be this guy who’s walking around and looks like a normal guy who’s just super-obnoxious. There has to be a reason for it. And the reason for it is because he looks like that.”

Lastly, GQ discussed the subject of superhero fatigue with Reynolds. Given that Deadpool is a superhero himself, it’s a fitting question as to whether or not Reynolds believes that the failure of “Fantastic Four” is in any way indicative of where the genre may go. Reynolds responded:

“It’s a genre. There are good horror movies and bad horror movies. There are good comedies and bad comedies. Think of it like that. Think of it less about just superheroes. I do believe that they explore similar archetypes a lot, so I think that notion can be somewhat fatiguing, maybe. I think one of the reasons that ‘Deadpool’ has gained a lot of momentum isn’t just that it’s funny or isn’t just that it’s rated R. The meta aspect is very important. So I think ‘Deadpool’s coming along at the right time, because it’s also speaking to that generation and that group of people that have seen them all, seen all these comic-book films and enjoyed them all to varying degrees of success. But I think it’s speaking to them as though the guy in that red suit is one of them, to some degree

…like, watching a DVD commentary by someone who’s got some pop-culture savvy and is kind of funny and a little obnoxious and is saying the things that you maybe wouldn’t say. It’s fun. That’s also why the film is budgeted the way it’s budgeted, isreleased the way it’s released, is allowed to be rated R, kind of all these things. Because for the studio, it’s actually relatively low-risk.”

“Deadpool” hits U.S. theaters on February 12, 2016.


Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.