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With Deadpool on the horizon, Ryan Reynolds may be finally be getting around to make the comic book movie that fans have been clamoring for for years>. One important step on that road, however, is looking back at mistakes of the actor's own superhero past - namely with 2011’s Green Lantern. What, in his assessment, exactly did go wrong with that film? Well according to Reynolds, it was all about the script.
In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Reynolds discussed the process leading to the return of Deadpool to the big screen. The topic shifted to some of his most famous flops like 2013’s R.I.P.D. and the once-promising DC Comics superhero vehicle in 2011’s summer 3D extravaganza, Green Lantern. Asked what kinds of lessons he learned during the experience of making the DC Comics adaptation, Reynolds responded,
Well, script. When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one.
By most standards, Green Lantern wasn’t a "bad" movie. In fact, the film’s storyline seemed to be disciplined in its following of the Joseph Campbell-esque hero’s journey archetype that some of the greatest stories of all time - like the original Star Wars - tend to follow. However, it also laboriously navigated some of the obligatory emotional dips in the hero’s confidence, which was almost insulting, since you’re not even sure why someone with a true sense of duty would (however temporarily) so easily give up an opportunity to save the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Plus, the use of Parallax as a mindless creature destructively drifting through space made for a lame first villain and deprived the film of the more personal antagonistic dynamic it needed. (Not counting the excellent presence of Mark Strong’s Sinestro, who was obnoxious, but not yet evil.) It was almost akin to having Batman fight a tornado while the Joker stands on the sidelines supervising.
Now, Ryan Reynolds believes that Deadpool will be a different story, since it will work off a highly-regarded script by Zombieland scribes, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick that has been floating around now for what seems like an eternity. Regarding the Deadpool script in contrast to what happened with Green Lantern, Reynolds told the interviewer,
We’ve had a script for three years. The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot — if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I’ve since learned that a lot of superhero movies don’t really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they’re already well into shooting.
Will Deadpool avoid the Green Lantern pitfalls and live up to the expectations that have been brewing in the six years since Reynolds last played Wade Wilson/Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine? The film, set to shoot in about a month, will carry a budget that has been described as being less than that of most superhero movies. However, it has a star in Reynolds that has been extremely enthusiastic to play the role and clearly knows the character. Passion is definitely a critical ingredient when it comes to comic book movie making, and this film will have no shortage of it.
Deadpool will slive and dice his enemies in theaters on February 12, 2016.