The most anticipated comic book movie of (some say) all time is finally here – Deadpool.
Deadpool will be the first superhero movie specifically for adults. The movie has been rated ‘R’ (or Mature 18 – depending where you’re from) so get those fake IDs wait a few years if you can’t catch it yet.
Why rated ‘R’ though? Well, Deadpool has never been the most politically correct of heroes and even had a run on Marvel’s “MAX Comics” line that specialised in R-rated comics. Director Tim Miller and the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds have promised to keep the tone true to the comics… which means blood, booms butts, and bewbs.
Before we get into everything you need to know before watching the movie, here’s the NSFW (Red Band) trailer:
The wise-cracking, sword-swishing, gun-toting Deadpool was first introduced in Marvel Comics’ New Mutants #98 (1990), by creators Rob Liefield and Fabian Nicieza, as the titular team’s adversary. Hired to take out Cable, he announces himself to the Marvel Universe in an all action bonanza until he’s finally taken out by another Marvel fan-favourite, Domino (who was actually Copycat in disguise… we’ll get to her in a bit).
If you’re intending to get your hands on a copy of New Mutants #98, be prepared to shell out quite a bit – anywhere between USD500 (if you’re lucky) upwards to around USD1,000 if prices on Amazon or eBay are anything to go by.
Protip: Check with your local comic shop or online comic book communities for tips on buying valuable comics. They’re usually good people, but there are asses everywhere.
Cancer and Department K
A military veteran and a mercenary by trade, Wade Wilson was already proficient with all sorts of weapons, munitions and military tactics. It was only when he realised that he had terminal cancer, that he got entangled with Department K, the Canadian government’s superhuman programme.
In order to arrest the development of the cancer cells, Department K’s branch of the joint U.S. – Canadian superhuman enhancement project, Weapon X (yes, the same one that gave our other Canadian pal, Wolverine his adamantium skeleton) gave Wade Wilson Wolvie’s healing factor.
However, the procedure wasn’t all that simple though. Instead of joining the super ‘hero’ project, Wilson was sent to the Workshop and experimented on extensively and mercilessly by Dr. Killbrew and his attendant Ajax – which leaves him terribly disfigured.
Deeming the procedure a failure, he’s dumped like the rest of the failed test subjects (who form the ‘dead pool’ – a running bet where subjects wager on who’s going to survive). Wilson’s healing factor kicks in at the brink of death and he survives, burns down the place and takes on the name Deadpool.
There have been a few different explanations why, but Deadpool’s healing factor surpasses Wolverine’s by far. He’s able to reattach parts of his body which simply heal back to full functionality. He still feels pain though.
Update: The movie’s kinda simplified matters a little by making the healing factor Deadpool’s own latent ability instead of transplanting Wolverine’s. That does make it easier to explain any comparisons that might be made.
As some of you might recall, this isn’t the first time that Deadpool’s made it on the silver screen. Also played by Ryan Reynolds, Wade Wilson appeared in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The studio (shame on you 20th Century Fox) mangled the character so badly that even Department K shat in their pants.
I dare say this was even worse than Green Lantern. I still believe that Reynolds is the perfect choice to play Deadpool, but the version we were ‘treated’ to in 2009, (putting it mildly) sucked balls… hairy ones.
Vanessa Carlysle – Copycat
Morena Baccarin plays Wade Wilson’s love interest Vanessa Carlysle. In the comics, Vanessa was a prostitute that fell in love with Wade. But once our hero learns that he has cancer he leaves her to join Department K / Weapon X.
In the movie trailers we see Vanessa taken captive and she tells Ajax, “I’ve played many roles in my life, but a damsel in distress isn’t one of them.”
That’s very true cause sweet ol’ Vanessa is actually the mutant (yes we can use the word ‘mutant‘ in this universe) Copycat.
You would be forgiven if you confuse her with the other blue-skinned femme fatale, Mystique. While their powers might seem similar, Mystique is a shape shifter and is able to take anyone’s appearance. Copycat’s powers take it to the genetic level where she’s even able to reproduce powers as well. However, she has much less control (and training) over her powers than Mystique.
Update: We won’t get to see ‘Copycat’ just yet. But, the movie does lay the foundations for Vanessa to take on that mantle in the future.
Blind Al and Weasel
Every Mercenary needs a go-to-guy for all his goodies to make things go boom. Weasel is that guy. Played by T.J. Miller, Weasel (Jack Hammer) is a genius who never quite fulfilled his potential (or maybe he did depending on who you ask) fell in with questionable company before he graduated college and became a information trader and arms trader.
Weasel’s the closest thing that Deadpool has to a best friend… that being said Weasel’s been shot by Deadpool several times – sometimes because he double crossed him and sometimes… well, to say thanks.
Blind Al (played by Broadway veteran Leslie Uggums) is quite the counterpoint to Weasel. Where Weasel facilitates Deadpool’s mercenary lifestyle (as cool as it is), Blind Al is his conscience. Her true origins have never quite been explained, but as her name suggests, she’s blind.
Deadpool was hired to kill Blind Al, who was working for the British Intelligence, but instead ended up killing everyone but her. It’s never been explained why, but Al started staying with Deadpool instead. The inclusion of Blind Al is a great sign that they intend on doing Deadpool right this time. Not an essential character if you want to make an all-action movie, Blind Al will potentially provide the platform to give Deadpool’s character depth beyond the guns and swords.
The Bad Guys
Ajax (played by Ed Skrein), will the the chief antagonist of the movie. He’s the same that helped Dr. Killbrew with keeping all the test subject in line at the Workshop. Likely out for revenge ’cause Deadpool blew everything up and basically left him for dead, Ajax is an enhanced super-soldier that has his pain sensors removed. In the comics, he’s a sadistic asshole that just enjoys inflicting pain… maybe because he can’t feel it (deep I know… I surprise myself sometimes). We’re still not sure if he’ll be a super soldier, or for simplicity sake a mutant – because they can do that… because 20th Century Fox.
What does worry me a little though is the fact that Ajax is seen in the trailers wearing a lab coat. Is there a Dr. Killbrew or will Ajax take his place instead? That remains to be seen.
Update: There isn’t a Dr. Killbrew in the movie. Ajax does all the experimentation with Angel Dust in attendance. As suspected, Ajax is a mutant and not a product of a super-soldier experiment.
MMA’s Gina Carano will play Angel Dust, a hard hitting mutant that belongs to a group of mutant outcasts called the Morlocks. Angel Dust can elevate her adrenaline levels to give her super human strength as well as enhanced speed, agility and stamina.
Including Angel Dust in the lineup is quite the interesting choice but its her connect to the Morlocks that really get me excited. The Morlocks have a long history with the X-Men, both as allies and (mostly) adversaries. This could open the door to some very interesting additions – that girl in the trailer with what seem to be bone shards piercing out her body… Marrow maybe?
A recent tweet by Gina Carano, she refers to herself as Ed Skrein’s mute second half. Are they going to give her the Sabretooth (first X-Men movie) treatment?
Update: Gina does speak. Just not that many lines.
Deadpool has always had a long-running association with the X-Men – from trying to join the team to his romantic links with Siryn (Banshee’s daughter) – he wasn’t very successful on both fronts. The inclusion of the X-Men opens up the possibility of Deadpool joining Fox’s existing X-Men universe. However, that universe is so fractured now that I’m not even going to begin to guess where Deadpool fits in the timeline (if at all).
Daniel Cudmore who? It’s about time that we got a real Colossus. The towering Andre Tricoteux was rumored to be play the X-Men’s resident Man-of-Steel, but it’s the Serbian Stefan Kapicic who’ll play the part of the iconic X-man instead. Kapicic will lend his voice to the character while a colossal stunt double will work on the CGI motion capture. From what we’ve seen, Colossus has never looked (or sounded) better.
Brianna Hildebrand completes the lineup as Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Not the most popular character in the X-Men franchise, she was trained by Emma Frost after being the sole survivor of an attack on the mutant haven of Genosha.
While her powerset were mostly psychic in the comics, she’s got a totally different set of powers in the movie (the ability to channel energy and make parts of her body explode ala Cannonball) that are actually more representative of her codename.
While not essential to the movie experience, this is a nice to know. While creator Rob Liefield might have you believe that Wade Wilson/Deadpool was his original idea and there’s no one else like him anywhere else in comics, it is common knowledge that that particular statement is a lie might not be accurate.
Deadpool by popular belief is a parody of DC Comics’ Deathstroke aka Slade Wilson – you might be familiar with him from CW’s Arrow if not the comics. Both are mercenaries, have healing factors, use swords and guns, wear similar outfits, have tech guys that are named after animals (Weasel – Deadpool and Squirrel – Deathstroke).
However, that’s where the similarities end. Both characters couldn’t be further apart in terms of personality. Deadpool basically became one of those cult hits that became even more popular than the character he was supposed to be a parody of.
This should get you pretty primed for the Deadpool movie. If all the marketing is spot on, this might just be the greatest superhero movie of all time. It will almost definitely be different from any we’ve seen before.
Protip: Do you valentine a favour, bring him/her to see Deadpool… it’ll help you decide if you should pursue it any further.