‘Deadpool’ Has Been Revived, So Please Thank Your Local Horde of Screaming Comic Book Fans

By  · Published on September 19th, 2014

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Deadpool fans, your prayers have been answered. Also your hopes, your dreams and your cultish ritual burnings of all those copies of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Deadpool movie is real. Fox confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that they’ve set Deadpool for a February 12, 2016, release date, with Tim Miller directing. The visual effects artist was attached to the project years and years ago when it was first announced and has been championing the project ever since. There is no word yet on Ryan Reynolds starring, but he was set for the film way back when, and he has continued to push Deadpool as hard as Miller has, so he’s basically a lock already.

So much of a lock that I will eat an entire “Deadpool” comic, cover to cover, if Fox casts someone else in the role. I’m sure it won’t come to that, though.

If you’re not one of Deadpool’s screaming fans (it seems like roughly 50% of the Internet are), here’s a quick primer: Deadpool is Wade Wilson, a nutty ninja mercenary who underwent the same shady superpower treatment as Wolverine. He’s got the infinite healing powers, just not the adamantium skeleton. Also, the superheroizing process exacerbated two other things: his cancer (transforming his face into a lumpy mess of tumors, which he hides with a mask) and his nuttiness, which is basically full-on schizophrenia now. Thus we have Deadpool, the wacky, nigh-unkillable fourth-wall-breaking assassin.

This is a day of celebration, especially for those rabid Deadpool fans who’ve been tearing down Fox’s doors trying to get this exact movie made. Which raises the question: was it actually the rabid door-tearing fans that got this movie made?

Up until July of this year, Deadpool was one of those development-hell denizens we all wanted to see, but didn’t ever expect to. Hellboy 3, Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 and the like. Then July came and with it a leaked snippet of some Deadpool test footage. The Internet promptly exploded. Then, un-exploded, as Fox pulled all that leaked footage down pretty quick. Then, exploded: Blur Studios (the studio who actually shot the Deadpool test, under Fox’s domain) said “Hey folks, we know you’re kinda into this Deadpool guy, so here’s a spiffy HD version of that clip you leaked and tried to spread everywhere.”

NSFW Warning: the footage contains strong language, decapitations and the music of Gwen Stefani.

A week later, Rhett Reese (aka the original Deadpool screenwriter) sent a clarion call via Twitter: fans, show the studios how massive you truly are, and retweet this tweet. Right now, the fateful fan-tweet has about 54,000 retweets, which is nothing compared to the three million that Ellen DeGeneres got for that Oscar selfie but impressive nonetheless.

In THR’s report, they insinuate it might just have been the angry mobs in Deadpool costumes that got this one made, including a recent quote from Reynolds: “It’s interesting to see the power of the Internet. It’s awe-inspiring, actually,” he said, speaking to the Niagara Falls Review. “And it’s neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way.”

There’s been no official statement from Fox on the matter. For all we know, they picked Deadpool because Deadpool is one of the few superheroes Fox owns the rights to who can stand on his/her own without a lot of X-Men spin-off backstory (expect that when Channing Tatum’s Gambit hits theaters). But from all we’ve seen, it kinda looks like they re-greenlit Deadpool at the urges of the people who really want to see Deadpool. That’s anything but common practice. When studios deal with fans, they’re typically going against public opinion, then weathering a backlash of “You’ve cast this character wrong, and now I hate him, because he is black/young/old/Ben Affleck.”

Synergy between the two could be a positive step. Studios would still face the usual hordes every time they go against the long-established grain (I wasn’t the biggest fan of Affleck as Batman, but I’ll deal), but throwing the crowds a bone is just as important. Now, maybe it’ll start to happen more than once per decade. The first step? Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds. The second step? Perhaps a new Green Lantern, completely devoid of Ryan Reynolds.

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