Without a doubt, the biggest surprise hit of 2016 was Ryan Reynolds' outrageous mutant comedy Deadpool. The film seemingly did the impossible: making tons of money on a small budget, validated the earning potential of an R-Rated superhero movie, and bringing an almost cartoonish character onto the silver screen. The comedy felt like something completely unique to the superhero genre, and now it turns out that this was done purposefully. In fact, the filmmakers actually set out to produce a movie which the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn't and shouldn't make. After all, Marvel Studios is owned by Disney.
In addition to the tons of money and acclaim that it received, Deadpool landed its writers a Writer's Guild nomination. Because of this, Rhett Reese recently spoke to Variety about the long process of finally getting the film made. It turns out that they actually ended up pitching the film as something that a Disney owned property couldn't touch.
Let's do something Marvel and Disney can't do... It really feels like an apple among oranges with big studio movies. I think that contributed to its success.
Well, that's pretty badass. Rather than trying to fit Deadpool into the narrative and style of the behemoth Marvel Cinematic Universe, Rhett Reese and company decided to go the opposite root. They produced a movie that had no chance of being accepted into the shiny and somewhat family oriented shared universe. Deadpool goes by his own rules, and so should his film.
Deadpool truly did feel like it was in a league of its own. To start, there was the framework set with Wade Wilson's tendency to break the fourth wall and speak to the audience. This is classic Deadpool, which gave comic purists exactly what they needed to settle in and laugh their asses off in theaters. Additionally, the film itself flew by. While many superhero movies can be bogged down by too much material and a long runtime, Deadpool's story was simple, focused, and just plain fun.
It should be interesting to see how the superhero genre changes in response to Deadpool's success. Hugh Jackman's final appearance as Wolverine in Logan also set itself up for an R-rated film, hoping to give the fans the violent and bloody Wolverine they've always wanted. Will smaller budget R movies become the newest trend? Probably not for Marvel, which will be trying to cross the $1 billion mark with their biggest blockbusters.
While Deadpool's status as the anti-Marvel movie is what made it so great, part of me does wish that he was apart of the MCU. With new and exciting characters entering and expanding the universe, it seems like there might actually be room for Wade Wilson within the ranks of the Avengers. Alas, Deadpool is a Fox property, so it looks like we should just enjoy his franchise.