Great Disappointments in Pop Culture History: The Use of Deadpool in Wolverine Origins
Hello, welcome to a brand new recurring series for PopCultureAsylum.com. I like many of you reading this, occasionally come across some buzz for an upcoming movie, CD, TV show, videogame or book that leaves you super excited. Usually the excitement sets the bar high and in most cases; the payoff is great…other times not so much! In this column, we’ll take a look at those other unfortunate occasions. This first entry is about 4 years old and still leaves a bad taste in many fan’s mouth: The use, or should I say “Misuse” of Deadpool in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. Enjoy!
Overview: Deadpool (aka Wade Wilson) is an awesome character in the comics. He has the sarcasm of Spider-man, a healthy dose of insanity, a weapon proficiency that may envy The Punisher and he has the healing factor of Wolverine. Deadpool was part of the Weapon X program like Wolverine, in which he enrolled in a experimental procedure to rid himself of cancer, but in addition to removing his cancer; Deadpool gained a major healing factor (can literally be blown to bits and recover), came out horribly disfigured (why he wears his awesome ninja costume), and became completely insane. After running around with the X-men, teaming up with Cable and staring in his own series; Deadpool gained a pretty impressive fan base. Plus, he usually breaks the fourth wall, making for a very entertaining character:
The Hype: After the abortion that was X-men: The Last Stand; Fox seemingly came up with a better plan: Make the most popular character have his own spinoff movie! Once the story of Wolverine’s pre-X-Men days started to come together, Ryan Reynolds was announced as playing Wade Wilson (pretty perfect casting). He was said to be a little shy of a cameo role, but it was enough to get the Deadpool fans excited. Even the trailers showed a pre-weapon X Wade Wilson play with his swords and it just made things look better. Rumors that we’d see a Deadpool vs Wolverine fight made things even better. I give you Exhibit A of many encounters to prove why this was a good thing:
Warning Signs: When the Wolverine movie had a pre-final version leak online, those that watched the movie had some pretty venomous things to say about the movie and a chief complaint was that Deadpool was ruined. I avoided watching the leaked movie. But then some more fears came out when this toy released ahead of the movie release (Toys are in their way kinda spoilery at times)
I tried to justify this by thinking that Deadpool just taped sword blades to his arms to try to be like Wolverine for their battle…that’s totally something he’d do! Plus the scared non-ninja version looked pretty OK. That should have been what happened, what we got was much worse…
The Fallout: For me, it’s hard to nitpick much from the Wolverine movie beyond Deadpool. Everything in the first few minutes of Wolverine was pretty good with Wade Wilson. He talked to himself like Deadpool does, he was lethal with his swords and made sarcastic comments, but then at the end of the movie we see a mutated freak, which could pass as Deadpool under the ninja costume minus the lack of a mouth. I mean, Deadpool is the self-proclaimed “Merc with a Mouth” and they didn’t give him one!! In all fairness, Not-Brian Cox did say a remark in the film about sewing his mouth shut so it gets a pass based on technicality. Then came the stupid powers: In the comics, Deadpool just has a healing factor, but in this movie he had that plus the following:
- Cyclop’s laser blasts
- Swords that popped out “Wolverine style”
- Will I Am’s Nightcrawler-esque teleportation abilities.
To add more insult, Deadpool was being controlled completely by Stryker via computer, which kind of reminded me of that Futurama episode with the Ultimate Robot Fighting Championship robot being controlled by Lelia’s sexist old karate master. Needless to say, this didn’t fly too well with fans of Deadpool and the movie was pretty skewered by them and as a result a planned Magneto-centered prequel movie was ultimately scrapped.
Hope for Redemption?: It’s not often when a misstep with a character gets another chance, but there are plenty of opportunities coming up: Wolverine is getting another solo adventure later this year, but it’s allegedly ignoring the events of the original spin-off and taking Logan to Japan to adapt one of the most popular Wolverine tales. As for the X-men franchise, X-Men First Class retconned the series and did well enough to warrant a follow-up. However, their next outing will be centered on the dystopian future story “Days of Future Past” and will see the cast of First Class do some time traveling tangling with the X-men of the first 3 X-films with Brian Singer back in the director’s chair.
As for Deadpool; he remains a popular character in the comics and just started a new series penned by Brian Posehn (of The Sarah Silverman Show fame) and Gerry Duggan. There’s even a Deadpool videogame set to launch this summer. Finally, a Deadpool centered film set to “reboot” the movie version of Deadpool with an R rating has been stuck in Development Hell since Wolverine Origins released. Ryan Reynolds is still rumored to star, but he has become something of a hot commodity in Hollywood and has taken on several movies since then. However, every few months new rumors fuel the hope for a proper movie version of Deadpool to come to us. So with that many eggs in the basket, it’s safe to say that there are plenty of chances for redemption.