– by Joseph Jammer Medina

You have to appreciate the ability for filmmakers and actors to reverse their good fortunes. While it’s easy to give up when Hollywood has stream-rolled over all your hopes and dreams, there are plenty of talented folks who have been able to recover and come out on top. Perhaps the three most prominent examples today are Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, and of course, Ryan Reynolds.

While Ryan Reynolds may not have achieved the record career lows of Affleck or McConaughey, he did seem to have a career that never really took off to the heights he truly deserved. When the dud known as Green Lantern hit theaters, it certainly didn’t do him any favors. Little did we know that he would manage to reverse his good fortune in a relatively short timeframe with Deadpool.

Speaking with THR, the actor/producer reflected on the impact of the superhero action comedy.

“The movie is groundbreaking in a lot of ways. It usurps certain tropes of the superhero genre that were well-ready to be usurped. And, again, timing, timing, timing, you know? We were kind of at peak superhero, in terms of tone, and it just offered something completely different in that respect. It also had just an unabashed commitment to its R rating. As I look back — and hindsight is obviously 20/20, but — it knew what it was, and I always knew what it was. I knew exactly how to play this guy [the irreverent title character], and I felt, in some weird way — not to sound too over the top or esoteric, but — like I was born to play this guy. I really understood him. And it just kind of popped.”

As many of us geeks know, this was a film that almost didn’t happen. Following the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there had been plans to spin off Deadpool into his own film, but the negative response that the former film kind of put a stop to that. When he was about to be cast as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern, he went back to Fox in hopes this could reinvigorate support for Deadpool, but alas, it did not. While many can see Green Lantern as instrumental in the potential downfall of Ryan Reynolds, it was actually in that period that he started buckling down and working on Deadpool, a film that would lead to his resurgence. 

“The weird plot twist was, somehow, some way, Deadpool got reinvigorated at Fox while [Green Lantern] was happening. … What a lot of people don’t know is [writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick] flew to New Orleans and, while I was shooting Green Lantern, we were actually all together writing Deadpool. We were breaking the story of the original Deadpool movie in a house that was being paid for by Green Lantern‘s dime. I thought, ‘If Green Lantern is a huge hit, they’re never gonna accept me as both, and if Green Lantern is a huge failure — which it ended up being — they’re never going to hire me.'”

Well, it turns out to have been quite the killer time investment for the actor. Sure, it took some time, but once that test footage was leaked, the rest was history.

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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.