Ryan Reynolds has had a long and successful career in film, but now he's perhaps best known for his leading role in the Deadpool franchise. While also serving as a producer and writer, Reynolds helped to adapt the Merc with the Mouth for the big screen, and breaking new ground as an R-rated comic book movie. But his first appearance as Wade Wilson was actually back in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with his infamous appearance leaving something to be desired. And Reynolds' stunt man had a blunt opinion about Deadpool's original look.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit theaters back in 2009, and served as a spinoff from the main continuity of the franchise. A number of new characters were introduced, including Ryan Reynolds' Wade Wilson who worked alongside Logan in the Weapon X program. The character ended up being the final villain, with an appearance and powers that were a major step away from Deadpool's comic book roots. Scott Adkins was the stunt double for Reynolds in Gavin Hood's ill-fated blockbuster, and recently revealed his initial reaction to the character's look, saying:
When I got the role and went down I was excited. I was fully expecting to see the entire Deadpool costume and all that. When they brought me in and I saw the concept art of the mouth sewn shut and the laser eyes and the claws that pop out…I thought, ‘This isn’t going to work.’
Well, he was right. Wade Wilson's appearance in the final battle of X-Men Origins: Wolverine failed to connect with both moviegoers and critics, and nearly could have killed Ryan Reynolds' tenure as Deadpool. Luckily he eventually returned years later, and the Deadpool franchise was born and made a ton of money at the box office.
Scott Adkins' comments to The Illuminerdi helps to peel back the curtain on what it was like filming X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This marked the first time the franchise went forward with a spinoff, with Hugh Jackman going on to work on two more solo flicks. And while it performed well enough to make future movies like Logan possible, Gavin Hood's handling of Deadpool didn't please comic book fans.
As a reminder, you can check out Deadpool's big fight with Wolverine in the clip below. Although if you're expecting anything like the character we know and love, you may be disappointed.
The end of the battle sees Ryan Reynolds' character decapitated by Wolverine. But X-Men Origins also set up Reynolds' eventual return as Wade Wilson, as the post-credits scene reveals Wade Wilson's head and limbs working independently, proving that he was still alive. But it would be up to the actor himself to bring the Merc with a Mouth back to the silver screen. This time without the weird look and extra powers.
It would be years before Deadpool would hit theaters 2016, with the movie getting a ton of attention when test footage was "leaked." But that first movie was a massive success, and Deadpool 2 managed to meet sky high expectations and take another massive haul at the box office. All eyes are on what Disney will do with the R-rated property following the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, and if Ryan Reynolds' character might finally crossover into the MCU.
The next installment in the MCU is Black Widow on May 7th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.