Art & Design

Unqualified Opinions

Unqualified Opinions

Deadpool

There's no excuse for the ignorance, any more. 

Deadpool had nearly a $150 million opening weekend, and was #1 in over 60 countries. To put that in perspective, it's almost $50 million more than the next biggest X-Men film's opening (which was X-Men 3: Last Stand, so maybe it isn't the best measure after all). It also smashed the record for biggest R-rated opening ever by $30 million. Chances are, it will probably go on to have the highest gross of any X-Men film yet. So everything seems to be going as Fox Studios planned. 

But wait... 

FOX didn't want to make this movie. They didn't want to pay Ryan Reynolds to keep his face covered for 2 hours. They didn't want an R-rated comic book movie. They didn't think the source material would translate to film. They stalled, pushed back production and chopped budgets because they didn't believe in the gold they had mined themselves. FOX had also been approached by Marvel Studios in 2014 to create something of a co-op, which would allow each studio to feature each others characters and build storylines together. FOX not only declined, but basically told Marvel to shove it by hiring several ex-Marvel consultants for the X-Movies. Separately, Sony took Marvel's offer to help with their failing Spiderman franchise, and he's appearing in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War this summer. Whether this deal will pan out for Sony remains to be seen, but that exposure will put Spiderman back in peoples faces, setting him up for his reboot film down the line. 

FOX bought the rights to all X-Men and Fantastic Four film properties in the early 2000s when Marvel Comics was close to bankruptcy. As long as they make a film for each property every 7 years they retain the rights. This last FF movie was made at the last moment, and was a complete disaster both critically and financially, becoming the 35th most profitable Marvel movie out of 40. While some might think being under the gun is what made this movie not come together, some comments shared by the director Josh Trank point to Fox's "film-by-committee" involvement ruining it. Trank had only directed one other film, so it's not hard to imagine him having trouble with a big franchise. His one film was Chronicle though, a similar concept to FF that he created, wrote and directed beautifully. I'm sure that got him the FF job, so you'd think FOX would allow him to make the movie he wanted. Of course I must state, the comments made by Trank and other insiders are unconfirmed, and FOX has stated he became reclusive and hard to work with towards the end of production, but if my name was on a piece of hot garbage that a studio changed beyond recognition I'd be pissed too. The only real confirmation is the other writer of the script confirming that the final movie is nothing like the working draft of the script. The other reason I see FOX's fingerprints on this is because it resembles the horrible failure X-Men Origins:Wolverine so much. That was another movie that was terribly mediocre and completely disregarded the source material. 

Enter Deadpool, one of the most egregious missteps in XO-Wolverine. Ryan Reynolds had been attached to play the character since 2004 in either a supporting role or feature film, but was made into a completely different character in the movie. This snuffed out the chance for the solo flick for another five years, while people thumbed their noses at Reynolds. He was made for this role though, or vice-versa. Deadpool is essentially the comic version of Van Wilder. Unbeknownst to most people, Reynolds was constantly pushing to get this film made in the true-to-source form we see it now, even producing it himself. Along the way multiple related X-properties were greenlit and cancelled like X-Force, the team book Deadpool first appeared in. 

Jump to today, Deadpool has been crushing the box office for only four days and FOX is reigniting the fires on a bunch of those shelved films. Not only are they fast-tracking an R-rated X-Force movie and Deadpool sequel, there's also a rumor that they're pushing the third Wolverine movie, already in production, to an R rating. This doesn't mean FOX will let the right people make the right movies without interference from the studio, but maybe the Deadpool money pouring in will distract them long enough for us to get a decent X-Force movie.

Oh yeah, as most of you already know, Deadpool was great. Funny, action-packed and painstakingly faithful to the source material. Go see it, but DO NOT bring your kids.
 
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