Ryan Reynolds was rumored as the only guy that could play Marvel Comics’ insane, wise-cracking mercenary Deadpool for several years before he finally got the role alongside Hugh Jackman in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. From the few clips we’ve seen of his in the film, all he’s been doing is swishing swords around and jumping in a red vest looking, well… like Ryan Reynolds, whereas the character is a scarred-up, disfigured ne’er-do-well who wears a mask to hide the horror of his face. There’s been some concern (a lot of it from me, personally, as he’s one of my favorite Marvel characters) that this May’s flick from Gavin Hood isn’t going to go far enough into the dark reaches of this mutant underworld and, more specifically, that handsome actors might not want to cover their faces in ugly makeup or masks. You HAVE noticed how often Tobey Maguire’s mask gets ripped up in the Spider-Man movies, right?
I spoke to Reynolds today as he was promoting Adventureland, which is a great and quiet coming-of-age dramedy that’s unfortunately being marketed as another Pineapple Express. He talked a little about Wolverine and he wasn’t afraid to dispel a rumor or two (those weren’t ‘reshoots’ that they were doing lately, but actual intentional scheduling brought on by having to accomodate his work in Paper Man and The Proposal) and he gave us his take on how much of the cult-fave character we’ll see in this film, although he would not say whether or not he’ll actually wear the trademark Deadpool mask.
“I love the character. I’ve always loved the character. I remember reading one of the comic books, and somebody asked Deadpool what he looked like, and he said ‘a cross between a Shar-Pei and Ryan Reynolds.’ I really wanted to play this guy at some point. I thought it was pretty cool. It’s a guy who knows he’s in a comic book! How hard is that to shoot that properly? So that’s not something they put in Wolverine, nor would it belong in that universe.”
“I think you will care about him. He walks the line between good guys and bad guys. You’ll be curious about him, beyond the film. I play Wade Wilson and I play Deadpool, but the character I play as Deadpool I personally don’t consider him to be Deadpool. Fox may differ with me, but I consider him to be the thing that Deadpool came from. It doesn’t carry on past that, because the film is called Wolverine. I’m the thing that will eventually become Deadpool, but yeah, he’s scarred up. You’re gonna see the scars. That’s all in there.”
Deadpool isn’t Reynolds’ first experience as a Marvel Comics character, though. He played vampire hunter Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity, and is widely considered to be the best part of the film (and is likely the reason he got into a lot of fanboy heads as the best choice to play Wade Wilson). That was a notoriously troubled shoot, though, that resulted in Wesley Snipes filing a lawsuit against the filmmakers for making him share screen time with Reynolds and Jessica Biel. Reynolds says Wolverine was the polar opposite kind of experience.
“It’s like night and day. I won’t get into it too much, but the Blade set was extremely dysfunctional, so to work on a movie like Wolverine was incredible. Hugh Jackman is as classy as he is talented. That group of guys – you’ve got all these enormous personalities in one room, and everybody was really amazingly chummy. People were just hanging out. Egos were checked at the door, I guess. I hadn’t been on a set that harmonious in a long time.”