Marvel: Who the hell is Deadpool?
To some degree X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE has me more excited than all three previous X-Men movies managed; particularly because Logan, in my mind, is probably the most interesting of all the X-Men. But the film isn’t scheduled for release until May next year and while it has begun filming there is still a lot that is unknown about the course that the movie’s plot will take, and which other characters from the Marvel stable will make an appearance.
Well, one character has not only managed to get himself associated with the film, but according to ACIN has also managed to get a known actor cast to play him. The character is Deadpool and the actor is Ryan Reynolds.
Now, as big a comic book nerd as I am, even I can’t keep up with all the characters in the Marvel Universe and while I am familiar with Deadpool and some of his antics, I thought that this would be the perfect time to do some research and discover a little more about the guy:
Wade Wilson was the product of a turbulent, single parent home. When he was 17, his abusive, military-strict, father was killed by one of Wade’s delinquent friends. Wade dropped out of school and eventually found himself enrolled in the United States Army Special Forces.
He was later kicked out of the military for, in his words, ‘being too good’ and sought work as a mercenary, a field that he found far more success in. During this time as a gun for hire Wade came to the attention of an inter-dimensional law firm who believed that he was to play an important part in the ‘future golden age for humanity’, although it seemed that the firm’s belief was erroneous when Wade was soon after diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Wade coldly dumped his then girlfriend Vanessa Carlyle (aka Copycat), to spare her the trauma of watching him slowly die.
It was around this time that Wade volunteered to be part of the Canadian Government’s Department K project, known as Weapon X. Using DNA from a former Weapon X subject Wade’s body and mind were drastically altered, with the intention of granting him superhuman regenerative abilities. However despite stopping his cancer and considerably improving his strength and stamina, the project was deemed a failure as he was unable to regenerate from injury. The process also left him with somewhat questionable mental stability.
Never the less, Wade was ‘field tested’ along side three other ‘successful’ test subjects. The program pulled Wade from service though — after he deliberately blew one of his team mates up (the guy had it coming) — and sent him to a government facility where failed superhuman test subjects were treated.
Unbeknownst to the program a sadistic doctor at the facility conducted experiments on the patients. The facilities inmates placed bets on how long the doctor’s latest victim would live, they called this a ‘deadpool’. It wasn’t long before Wade was the one they were betting on.
Eventually the doctor, used a loop-hole in the project’s policies to end Wade’s life: He tortured and lobotomised a patient with whom Wade had become friends. Wade mercifully ended his friend’s torment, but in doing so allowed the doctor to issue an execution order. Wade’s rage and desire for revenge managed to trigger the dormant regenerative abilities of the Weapon X program, and despite having his heart ripped from his chest he was able to fight his would be executioner and escape from the facility, freeing his fellow inmate at the same time.
Wade returned to life as a mercenary, however from this point on he took on the identity of Deadpool.
One element of the Deadpool comic which will be interesting to see translated to screen is his constant breaking of what is known as ‘the 4th wall’. Deadpool commonly refers to the fact that he exists in a comic book, answering questions like “How long has it been?” with “Issue 16, Greece. Whats up Bullseye?” or making references to Toby Maguire playing Spider-man.
In classic comic book style Deadpool is something of a smart-arse and always has something snappy to say. To this end, Deadpool carries the nickname “Merc with a Mouth”.
From everything I’ve read about Deadpool it really seems like Ryan Reynolds is spot on for the part and if the rumours are true, then this could be one of the best casting choices I’ve heard of for a long time.
The fact that Deadpool isn’t as well known a character as The Flash (another Superhero that Reynolds has long been associated with and has expressed interest in playing) means that Reynolds can possess this character in much the same what that Hugh Jackman has made Wolverine his own. [source]