For years it looked like a Deadpool movie was going to be just plain impossible. It didn't look like 20th Century Fox was ever going to give the okay to an R-rated comic book movie, and Ryan Reynolds became seen as box office poison circa 2011 thanks to the release of films like Green Lantern and The Change-Up. But none of that matters anymore. The Deadpool movie is actually happening! Chimichangas for everybody!
20th Century Fox (via Box Office Mojo) has announced that they will now be releasing Deadpool on February 12, 2016, meaning that we can probably expect production to start up sometime early next year. It's hard to say how many pieces are still in place, but when we last checked in on the project it was set up with a script, a star and a director. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the screenwriters behind the hit horror comedy Zombieland, first started penning the script for the movie all the way back in 2010, and the plan has always been for Ryan Reynolds to reprise the role he first played in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (though this will be a much different version). VFX artist Tim Miller was hired to helm the project all the way back in 2011, with the feature scheduled to be his directorial debut (which it still will be if he is attached).
So what changed? Why is Deadpool able to become a movie now when it was just impossible back in 2010? The simple answer is that the world of comic book movies has completely changed in the last four years. Marvel and DC properties are now considered some of the hottest blockbuster material out there, and even obscure fare like Guardians of the Galaxy is drawing huge crowds. Fox is coming off of their biggest global comic book hit in Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, and it's understandable that they would want to put as many comic book properties as they possibly can into active development. One also can't discount the possibility that the voice of social media affected the decision, not to mention the reaction to the amazing test footage that was unofficially released a couple months ago.
Now that Deadpool is moving forward, we also have to wonder how this is going to affect the larger picture, namely Fox's version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - which is exclusively made up of X-Men and Fantastic Four characters. Writer/producer Simon Kinberg has said in the past that there are no immediate plans to crossover the X-Men and burgeoning new Fantastic Four franchise, but there has to be crossover potential between this new version of Deadpool and everything else that's going on in the X-Men continuity, right? I guess only time will tell.
While we can ask a million questions later, for now let's just enjoy the fact that a Deadpool movie is actually moving forward.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.