Deadpool (2010 Script)

Posted: March 16, 2015 in Deadpool, Marvel, Weapon X, X-Force, X-Men

There’s been a lot of news lately about the casting/filming of the Deadpool movie that has recently gone into production. Now that it’s actually happening, it’s funny to look back at just what a rollercoaster ride it was to get this flick greenlit.

Here’s the only reference
the script makes to his
past cinematic appearance.

Deadpool has always been a popular candidate for adaptation. Even before the current comic book movie “Golden Age” there have been scripts floating around by A-list writers. Then, in 2009, the character finally made a big-screen appearance as a supporting character/villain in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The fact that he was played by Ryan Reynolds (a favorite for the role by both fans and creators) helped to galvanize the studio into commissioning a new script by the writers of Zombieland. Sadly, the massive changes made to the character in Origins along with the overall tepid response to the film from fans and critics sure didn’t help the movie become a reality. Add to that a studio head (Tom Rothman) who seemed to actively despise the X-franchise and a script that was decidedly R-rated, and by 2010, talk of the movie had all but vanished.

Even he thinks Reynolds is right.

Shortly after the film had been put on turnaround (meaning, it wasn’t going to get made), the script was leaked online. The draft that I read is credited to Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and is dated April 12, 2010. This is probably the first finished draft of the script. And, in all honesty, it shows. That’s not to say that the script is bad or anything, it’s just very unpolished.

The story opens with Deadpool (in full red-costumed-glory) chasing a recently released ex-con. Toward the end of the chase/fight scene, an extended flashback takes over the narrative and gives Wade’s origin and how he came to be the near-invincible Merc with the Mouth. The flashback/origin moments continue throughout the script. They’re fairly true to the character’s comic book roots, but I think they detract from the overall story. I’m not saying his origin shouldn’t be addressed, but I think it should be pared down a bit. About 30% of this script focused on his origin. Again, some of it should definitely be in there but it does get in the way of the pacing. An example of this is the fact that, because of the flashback, the opening chase/fight takes the better part of the first third of the movie. I think this would feel somewhat tedious if it were paced this way in the actual film.

…New Kane.
Kane Classic…

One thing that I really enjoyed about the script is the huge amount of lesser-known X-Men characters that make appearances. The main villain is Ajax (acting on orders from Dr. Killbrew) who’s accompanied by his lackeys Wyre, Garrison Kane and Sluggo. Kane is a character I am particularly interested in seeing on screen. In the comics, he’s been a member of X-Force and had his origins in Weapon X, like Deadpool. He has robotic arms and in the early 90’s, his hands were used as projectiles. The script adapts a more modern take on the character (complete with robotic eye) and his cyber-appendages. Here, his hands fold up to reveal mini-arsenals. He has a variety of weapons at his fingertips (get it?!). The most notable of which is a grenade launcher that he uses to devastating effect more than once within the story.

Guess who’s who.

Rounding out the cast of 2nd (or 3rd…or 4th…) tier Marvel characters are Deadpool’s allies. The frequent flashbacks establish Wade Wilson as a mercenary working out of a dive-bar. The owner, Patch, is well known within the world of Deadpool. The same could be said of Weasel, a long-time sidekick to the character. Within the story, he doesn’t contribute much until the last act, and even then he’s not incredibly necessary, but it’s still nice to see him show up. One character that gets almost nothing important to do is Wade’s roommate, Blind Al. She’s essentially there to serve a running joke about IKEA furniture. I get that it’s wacky to have a violent killer living with an old, blind woman (the comic’s been riding that joke for years), but I think their relationship needs to be just a little more fleshed out for any of the jokes to have any impact. Again, this is likely a first draft, so I’m sure those are issues that wouldn’t make it to a second.

Copycat…whose powers are
kind of a copy of Mystique’s.

The last two major characters are Vanessa (Wade’s love interest who is essentially just a damsel in distress) and Colossus. Vanessa (known as Copycat in the comics) is only seen in flashbacks as an impossibly perfect match for our hero until the last act where she is pretty much only used as a MacGuffin for Wade to track down. Colossus is, more or less, the same character that showed up in the other X-Men films but has more dialogue than in those three appearances combined. He comes into play at the beginning to antagonize Wade but reappears during the final battle to take on Sluggo in a knock-down, drag-out fight.

The overall plot of the script is fairly basic: Deadpool chases down the person responsible for creating him while his origin is parcelled out in flashbacks. There’s also a fair amount of humor within the story. I appreciate it, this is Deadpool after all, but most of the gags failed to land with me. That said, there’s a whole lot of ways that a really excellent movie could come out of this script. As I mentioned before, this film was put on turnaround but is, in fact, being made now. That all came about because some CGI test footage was leaked onto the internet. Fan (and regular person) reaction to the action and humor in the clip was so overwhelmingly positive that the studio (which was no longer being run by Tom Rothman) was forced to reconsider their choice to cancel the film. And so, a few weeks later, a release date was announced, a teaser poster (seen above) was released and the director and star were confirmed.

Not This Guy

Since then, it’s clear that the script has gone through some changes. Gina Carano was cast as Angel Dust (a morlock in the comics) who will likely be taking the place of one of Ajax’s enforcers. My only hope is that she replaces Sluggo. Carano is an amazing fighter, and seeing her go up against Colossus would make for one hell of a finale to the film. Speaking of Colossus, there’s been a lot made of his inclusion, recently. I find it interesting since he’s essentially only there to represent the X-Men. It could be any member of their team. Just a few weeks ago it was announced that Daniel Cudmore would not be returning to the role for this film. Because of that, I kind of hope that they’ll just write him out and replace him with a different established character like Iceman or Cyclops. I’m sure someone from the original franchise would be willing to make an appearance. I mean, Cudmore has already played the role three times (the last of which being less than a year ago) so it seems silly to recast now.

Wouldn’t it be cool?!

Two other actors have been added to the cast and both in unspecified roles: T.J. Miller and Morena Baccarin. Miller’s a comedic actor who is no stranger to big-budget action having had a role in the most recent Transformers film. Speculation is rampant as to whom he’ll be playing, but the most likely role would be that of Weasel. Baccarin was announced as playing the story’s love interest, but all reports have been coy as to which character that would actually be. Obviously the script uses Copycat, but with some re-writes it could just as easily be any number of female characters associated with Deadpool. Smart money is on Domino, an X-Force member who has been a romantic foil for Wade, has a somewhat higher profile than Copycat and (possibly most importantly) has franchise potential if done right.

So the film that was destined to never happen is now, in fact, happening. Obviously there have been some re-writes and there will likely continue to be more. I think that’s for the best. This script had some great moments (the origin of Wade’s Deadpool mask, for example) and some places where it needs serious work  (there’s a reoccurring joke concerning Amy Winehouse that will surely be cut). As I said, on the page much of the humor feels a bit forced but with Reynolds’ timing and ability to ad-lib, I don’t think that’ll be a concern. The re-writes that we know about so far seem to be moving the story in the right direction. And as for the action that I said would make or break the movie? I guess I’ll let the test footage speak to that…

So, yeah. Seems pretty badass.

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