If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the motto that led to Deadpool’s massive success last year, which all started with a terrible appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s comical looking back at just how bad Deadpool was in the first Wolverine standalone movie, but the character was supposed to be much different that what it ended up being.
You may remember Deadpool’s appearance by his mutilated look, sewn mouth and ridiculous powers that included laser vision and katana swords that sprung from his hands. But as difficult as it may be to believe, all of this was supposed to set up the character for future Wolverine and Deadpool projects. And if you look more closely, it does sort of make sense.
The main contributors to the botched adaptation of Deadpool ended up being bad timing —a major writer’s strike was going on during the production of the film—and a misguided vision for the character’s story arc.
The morbid look and last-second scene that delivers a fourth-wall breaking Deadpool was the foundation for future iterations of the character. This was only a snippet of the character, and even though it veered way off course, it was the bedrock for Deadpool and its simplest and most terrible form. Future movies were supposed to pick up on the best qualities of the character: the foul-mouthed nature, quirky interactions with the audience and kick-ass red suit. But after terrible backlash for the film and the character, those plans were delayed and eventually cancelled—until the test footage leaked, which forced the studio to greenlight the standalone Deadpool project.
During the production of the film, even Ryan Reynolds wasn’t too fond of the direction of the character, but the studio gave him the ultimatum to be a part of the project or be recast. Reynolds took the chance to be the character knowing the plan was to flesh out the character’s dynamic personality in future films. He just had to stomach through one terrible interpretation.
“They sew his mouth shut, let lasers come out of his eyes,” Reynold’s stated in an interview with Google. “He has weird knives that fly out of his hands… I remember saying, ‘That’s really going to anger some people. That’s not Deadpool.’ And they basically said, ‘Well, you can play him or we can hire someone else to play him.’ So for me, it was… I was a little bit blackmailed.”
So, even though there were good intentions with the original character, it all ended up being a mess. It also delayed a Wolverine sequel for four years and it, along with the backlash to X-Men: The Last Stand, led to the minor reboot of the franchise with X-Men: First Class.
Wolverine’s first solo outing was a bad deal for everyone involved
At the inception of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the plan was to develop standalone movies for Deadpool, Magneto, Professor X and possibly Gambit. Deadpool and Gambit were the two biggest casualties of this failed project. Gambit still can’t get out of production hell and Deadpool only got out because of the leaked test footage forcing the studio’s hand.
Even so, we are now beginning to move on from the mess of X-Men Origins onto a brighter future with Logan and Deadpool 2 on the horizon.