Deadpool will be the next X-Men character to get his own spin-off movie, with Ryan Reynolds likely to get a second shot at playing the unpredictable self-healing mutant, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Studio 20th Century Fox is moving forward with the standalone movie after at least five years of preparation. Reynolds was tipped to play the mercenary anti-hero following a popular supporting turn in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but the project has now been given the green light after a positive reaction to leaked test footage.
Deadpool, also known as Wade Wilson, is a popular figure in the X-Men universe, to which Fox owns the rights on the big screen. In the comics he emerges as an indestructible but mentally unstable anti-hero after submitting himself to the Weapon X genetic alteration experiment in the hope of finding a cure for cancer.
Reynolds, who presents the superhero as a charismatic loose cannon in the leaked footage, has been interested in portraying Deadpool for more than a decade. Of the film’s sudden green light, he said: “The movie has been in a state of limbo for a while. There was such an overpowering reaction to the footage, you sort of feel like, ‘Oh, so we weren’t crazy for our reasons for loving this character, for loving this role’,” he told the Niagara Falls Review. “It’s interesting to see the power of the internet. It’s awe-inspiring, actually. And it’s neat that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram can move mountains when used in the right way.”
Deadpool was apparently killed via decapitation in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but was seen rising from the rubble and whispering “shhh” to audiences in a post-credit scene. The spin-off movie has been set for release in February 2016.
Reynolds’ last headlining comic book movie was the 2011 Green Lantern film for studio Warner Bros. Critics were unimpressed and the $200m origins story took just $116m at the global box office.
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