Screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick Talk DEADPOOL, Selling a Hard R-Rated Superhero, How to Find the Script, and More

     March 25, 2013


I want to see the Deadpool movie.  Ryan Reynolds is perfect casting, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland) are the perfect writers for it, and it’s just a fun character whose tendency to break the fourth-wall could be a welcome spin on the superhero genre.  Reynolds is still on board, and he recently said that Deadpool would address X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which would help avoid getting bogged down in continuity, and give the character a fresh start.  He also noted that it’s a hard sell to 20th Century Fox because the film would be hard-R (therefore cutting into the profits pulled from the wallets of teenage boys), and not fit the mold of other superhero movies.  Reese and Wernick are also somewhat frustrated with the lack of progress, and they recently spoke with Steve about the project.

Hit the jump for what they had to say including the hurdles in getting it made, taking a chance on an unconventional superhero, and how you can find the script.

deadpool-movie-vote-comic-book-coverBack in January 2012, we reported that Fox may have shot an 8-minute test for a Deadpool movie.  Reese basically confirmed this earlier report, although he says the test was closer to three minutes.  He also said that the test was right on the money for the movie they want to make:

RHETT REESE: We have a phenomenal director in Tim Miller, who did about a 3-minute test for Fox, and Ryan came in to do the mo-cap for it and the voice.  And it’s like the greatest three minutes ever.  I look at the three minutes and I’m like, “That’s the movie, and it has to get made.”  I think the biggest hurdle right now is convincing the-powers-that-be that it’s okay to have a hard-R rated movie within the Marvel Universe.

Reese also said that they think the film could be made for a budget of about $50 million, which would account for the lower ticket sales due to the film’s R-rating.  However, there’s still the matter of the film’s tone:

REESE: I think there just has to be a tolerance for the outlier.  There has to be a tolerance for this one project that’s not like all the other Marvel projects.

PAUL WERNICK: Iron Man was like that when it came out.  Tony Stark and the hard drinking, fast-talking billionaire was very different from all the other Marvel characters.  And look what it became.  And we feel that way about Deadpool.

deadpool-movie-detailsI would also note that Fox should consider that going against the grain could yield not only an unexpected hit, but more importantly, a new franchise.

Also, for those who are doubtful about whether or not a Deadpool movie can work, the script, which leaked online, has received some positive attention:

REESE: The script leaked online in some bizarre way that we haven’t figured out, so it’s very easily findable out there.  It’s pretty much you go on Google and type in “Deadpool script” and you’ll find it.  Not to say people should be doing that because it certainly wasn’t something we anticipated or enjoyed in the moment, but the Deadpool fans who found it think that it’s right in the wheelhouse of what a Deadpool movie should be.  And so again, we’re just fighting that uphill battle to convince people, and be positive.

I understand and can sympathize with Fox’s hesitation.  When you put your neck out for a project, there’s the chance you can lose your head if the movie flops.  But with a $50 million price tag (as Reynolds recently noted, a “pittance compared to the modern sort of epic scale superhero movies”) and older comic book fans who want an R-rated superhero flick, stalling on Deadpool feels like a wrong move on the studio’s part.

Check out the interview below and here’s what Reese and Wernick revealed to us about the Zombieland pilot that hits Amazon next month.  Look for more with Reese and Wernick tomorrow.



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