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Ryan Reynolds Wanted To Play Another DC Character And Other Behind-The-Scenes Facts From The Deadpool Star's Career

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool
(Image credit: Disney / Fox / Marvel)

Having a charmingly sarcastic sense of humor - much like his titular, celebrated role in the Deadpool movies - is one of the main reasons why Ryan Reynolds is one of the most beloved stars in Hollywood these days. However, it also makes it difficult to decipher what is fact from what is fiction when sifting through interviews and making-of featurettes to find some genuine trivia about the Canadian actor.

Luckily, I was able to track down some cool, and confirmed, behind-the-scenes facts about some of the best Ryan Reynolds movies or, even, some of the more infamous titles on his resume so far. I don’t want to single anything out, but one point might feature a particularly iconic DC character who was actually the preferred Justice League member Reynolds initially hoped he could play.

Ezra Miller wearing new Flash costume in Batcave

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Ryan Reynolds Would Have Liked To Have Played The Flash 

Ryan Reynolds has starred in a couple of the best superhero movies in recent memory (obviously I am talking about Deadpool and Deadpool 2), but also a few that are not quite remembered so fondly. Arguably, the most infamous is 2011's Green Lantern, in which he accepted the role of Hal Jordan, believing it to be a great career opportunity. However, the cosmic defender was not the first DC character the actor expressed interest in playing.

While promoting Deadpool 2 at San Diego Comic Con in 2018, Ryan Reynolds was asked what other superheroes he might be interested in playing. After joking about how terrible he would be at replacing Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, ScreenRant reports that the actor revealed he wanted to play the Wally West version of The Flash, before admitting "all of those ships have sailed." Well, I am not so sure myself, considering it would not be the first time Reynolds was able to achieve greatness in the midst of unfavorable circumstances. 

Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Green Lantern’s Failure Inspired Ryan Reynolds To Be More Creatively Involved With Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds has also been quite vocal over the years about his own disappointment with Green Lantern, both for its reception and the experience of making it. However, if there is one silver lining (outside of him meeting and falling in love with co-star Blake Lively), it would be how his creative perspective evolved as a result.

When speaking to The Wall Street Journal in late 2021, Reynolds mentioned how Green Lantern was only the latest film of his that he did not believe worked as well as it could, but the first that made him decide that he should try to help make his films work. As a result, he made himself a producer on Deadpool and was heavily involved in the writing process, too.

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Ryan Reynolds And Director Tim Miller Had Creative Disagreements Over Deadpool 

Most fans of Marvel’s “Merc with a Mouth” would agree that Ryan Reynolds’ creative input, in addition to his extremely committed performance, were key to the stunning success of Deadpool. However, even he was willing to admit that his passion for the project would lead to a few “difficult” days on set, especially when it came to his relationship with the director, Tim Miller.

The actor spoke to GQ in 2016 about how his vision for the hilarious comic book adaptation did always match up with Miller’s vision. Eventually, each of them agree to focus on their respective strengths - namely Miller with the visual style and Reynolds with the humor. This would inspire the future Terminator: Dark Fate helmer’s decision to leave the franchise before David Leitch of John Wick fame stepped in for Deadpool 2.

Ryan Reynolds in Van Wilder

(Image credit: Universal)

Van Wilder Earned Ryan Reynolds An Unwanted “Party Guy” Reputation

Another one of Ryan Reynolds’ most successful films is National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, in which he starred in the title role of a serial party animal in 2002. Yet, despite its pivotal role in him achieving mainstream success, it is not one he looks back on so proudly. In addition to calling it a “goofy gross-out college movie,” he had this to say to GQ in 2010 about how the comedy would affect his life:

It made me the party guy. I would walk into a bar and people would start lining up the shots. You could sum up my career at that point as a free shot at a bar… I know it affected me more than I'm revealing, because I know that I went years without even saying the words 'Van Wilder.' Even now, when I say it, it's a bit of a big moment for me.

In mid-2021, after Reynolds was informed about its upcoming 20th anniversary, he admitted that he actually did have a blast filming Van Wilder and acknowledged how it “opened a lot of doors” for him. He also said he might watch it again soon, which would be the first time since he starred in it.

Ryan Reynolds in Buried

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Seven Different Coffins Were Built For Ryan Reynolds To Act Inside While Filming Buried 

A film that would introduce many to a darker and more serious side of Ryan Reynolds’ talents is 2010’s Buried - a one-man movie about a truck driver who wakes up to the horrifying realization that he is trapped in a box six feet underground. No actual burials took place during the making of the film, but the actor would shed some light onto how this extremely contained story was achieved on camera.

When speaking to Vanity Fair about Buried to promote its premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Reynolds confirmed that seven different coffins were built for the production. This would allow the crew to capture the actor at multiple angles while still maintaining the illusion of his claustrophobic captivity.

Ryan Reynolds in Red Notice

(Image credit: Flynn Picture Company)

Ryan Reynolds Was Once Considered To Play Nathan Drake In Uncharted

A character who is no stranger to sticky situations like underground burials and similarly dangerous circumstances, is Nathan Drake from the Uncharted video game series. The popular franchise would eventually inspire a 2022 feature film with Tom Holland playing a younger version of the adventurous fortune seeker, but there was a time when we could have seen none other than Ryan Reynolds in the role.

When speaking to The Mutuals (via Discussing Film), filmmaker Joe Carnahan talked about how he was once attached to make a more mature interpretation of the Uncharted games for the big screen and Reynolds, whom he had previously worked with on 2006’s Smokin’ Aces, was in talks to play the lead. He then goes on to say that Reynolds was ultimately taken out of consideration due to his commitment to Deadpool.

Ryan Reynolds Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson stand together in the open in Red Notice.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Ryan Reynolds Came Up With Gal Gadot’s “Downtown” Bit In Red Notice

Ryan Reynolds would still receive plenty more opportunities to play adventurous characters, such as when he co-led the Red Notice cast, along with Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot, as master thief Nolan Booth. Apparently, he was also able to put his own creative stamp on the hit Netflix original from 2021 by influencing one of its more risqué jokes.

In a scene when Gadot’s “Bishop” is interrogating Booth and Agent Hartley (Johnson) after tying them to a post, she tortures The Rock by electrocuting him in… we’ll just say the nether regions, while aptly singing “Downtown.” According to the film’s official press notes (via Decider), featuring the classic Petula Clark song was Reynolds’ idea.

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in The Proposal

(Image credit: Touchstone)

According To Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds Was Overexposed While Shooting A Famous The Proposal Scene

Say, speaking of nether regions, Ryan Reynolds was once involved in a situation that left him especially vulnerable that in that particular area while shooting the hit 2009 rom-com The Proposal. His co-star, Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock, appeared on Adam Ray’s About Last Night podcast in 2021 and shared, in graphic detail, what went down while shooting their famous nude scene:

We’re doing it, and we collide together and we’re on the floor. ‘Why are you wet? Why are you naked?’ And we’re lying there, and they have to say, ‘Cut.’ We couldn’t really move, so he was on his back with his knees up, and I was sort of on the floor just resting on his knees, just waiting. And you don't want to look, we couldn’t really move. And then I hear Anne Fletcher from the darkness go, ‘Ryan, we can see your ball sack!’ I’m like, ‘Oh God, don’t look down, don’t look down! Because you want to look down. You’re like, ‘Should I help? No, I’m not helping’ … Everyone in the darkness spun around to see if they could find a monitor.

As embarrassing as that sounds, The Proposal was a very well-received crowd pleaser that helped convince self-described fan Josh Brolin to play Cable in Deadpool 2, and gave Reynolds the bragging right of working with Betty White, whom he would pay a tender tribute to when she passed in 2021. So, in retrospect, it seems the embarrassment was well worth it.

Ryan Reynolds' face on Aaron Reed's body in Free Guy

(Image credit: Disney)

Ryan Reynolds’ Face Was SuperImposed Onto A Bodybuilder For Free Guy’s “Dude vs. Guy” Fight

Another embarrassing moment that amounted to great reward was a scene in 2021’s Free Guy in which Ryan Reynolds’ title character (a sentient video game NPC) nearly has his ass handed to him by himself - or, more accurately, an “upgraded” version of himself named “Dude.” To craft this mind-blowing duel onscreen, the filmmakers decided not to go the old fashioned way.

As director Shawn Levy and VFX Supervisor Swen Gillberg explained on a Blu-ray featurette (via CinemaBlend), movies that feature an actor interacting with themselves is achieved by the tedious and time consuming process of filming the same scenes twice with motion control cameras. Instead, they opted to use CGI trickery to put Reynolds’ face on the 6’7”, approximately 300-pound Free Guy cast member Aaron Reed, who went on to play Satan in a funny Match.com ad produced by Reynolds.

The Adam Project

(Image credit: Netflix)

Ryan Reynolds’ Relationship With His Father Helped Inspire His Performance In The Adam Project

Ryan Reynolds would soon reunite with Shawn Levy for the 2022 Netflix original movie The Adam Project. This time around, however, making the endearing, sci-fi dramedy would turn out to be a more personal experience for the actor.

In the movie, Reynolds plays a pilot who must travel back in time to save the future with the help of his 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell) and his estranged father (Mark Ruffalo), whom he does not have the fondest memories of. The actor told Scottish journalist Lorraine Kelly how the fatherly themes resonated especially for him, having had a complicated relationship with his own father growing up.

Reynolds goes on to mention how his father passed away in 2015 - which, according to People, came after a longtime battle with Parkinson’s disease. Even if his relationship with his father “never really mirrored the father-son dynamic [he] envied watching ’80s sitcoms,” I hope the man was proud of what his son managed to accomplish throughout his career.

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.