Ryan Reynolds isn’t just a great actor, he’s something of a survivor. His first outing as Deadpool was beyond horrendous while his single-movie stint as The Green Lantern was just as bad if not worse.
For most actors, that would have been the end of their attempts at being a superhero, but not Reynolds. He was born to be Deadpool. In fact, at this point, it’s pretty much established that he is Deadpool. The fans agreed too, and before you know it, Reynolds was putting on the red and black uniform and brandishing his signature katanas.
He released two Deadpool movies, both beloved by fans and have high audience rating scores on websites. Naturally, people wanted a third film, but as Disney purchased Fox’s Marvel lineup of superheroes it also began its descent into wokeness and modernity in earnest. As I wrote after watching the latest outing for Doctor Strange, the MCU is now a take-it-or-leave-it kind of brand.
(READ: ‘Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness’ Is the Biggest Sign Marvel’s Golden Age Is Over)
Audiences seem to be in agreement. Marvel movies and television shows aren’t exactly making people excited anymore. She-Hulk couldn’t even crack the top 10 in total minutes viewed in its initial episode, and while some of it may be linked to superhero fatigue, it would appear that largest bulk of people’s resistance to watching it is the horrendous writing. Marvel isn’t even hiring fans of the heroes they write about anymore, but seems to be placing more value on how much they believe in “the message.”
The injection of politics into Marvel has come in many forms but it’s getting more and more overt. She-Hulk’s pilot episode is a very good example of this.
All this to say that Marvel is at a very low point and it would take something incredibly big to bring them back to something audiences will show up to watch.
Reynolds/Deadpool is an obvious choice. While Marvel is taking all the wrong things too seriously and all the right things not seriously enough, Deadpool’s job is to take nothing seriously. Moreover, Reynolds announced that Hugh Jackman will be returning as Wolverine, a very serious character. Like Reynolds, Jackman is his superhero character and the pairing between Wolverine and Deadpool is about as natural as Reynolds and Jackman are in real life.
This movie has everything it needs to be successful. If cards are played correctly, Disney could have another Spider-Man: No Way Home on their hands.
All Disney has to do…is nothing.
Giving Reynolds the reigns and keeping its penchant for woke nonsense out of the film will allow Marvel to have a box office Goliath on their hands. People will flock to see the latest outing of the Merc with the mouth and his best pal Growls McClawhands. Tickets will be sold, merch will be bought, money will be made, and a good time will be had by all.
Reynolds, if he hasn’t already, will be wise to make that clear to Disney both before and during the filming. Rest assured, there will be pressure to include this bit of messaging here, a slice of wokeness there, and a reimagining somewhere in between.
In other words, it will attempt to derail the movie by making the same mistakes it’s been making with its other properties. It will inject politics into the escapism, alienate viewers, and bore the rest. Moreover, Disney will likely gin up some controversy and attempt to make Reynolds and/or Jackman speak out against it.
We saw this exact thing happen with Disney/Star Wars “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and look what happened to it.
Reynolds is a survivor, but he’s a survivor because of his ability to laugh off his past box office superhero failures that failed only because they were just dumb movies, not alienating on a socio-political level. Should Disney coerce or pressure Reynolds to create a woke movie and then defend it, his audience will lose trust and faith in him. Moreover, it will complete the MCU’s steady sink below the waves.
It will be a message to audiences that the MCU is wholly lost and that its goal is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. For Reynolds, he’ll be lambasted on multiple fronts. He’ll be slammed for aiding and abetting divisive politics, destroying Deadpool, and trashing his reputation as a writer.
Again, all Disney has to do is leave Reynolds alone and allow him to have control. Let him do right by his character. Allow him to craft a movie free of messaging, and Disney/Marvel will see a rejuvenated MCU…at least for a time. Interfere and keep doing that Disney thing and both Marvel, Deadpool, and Reynolds will be irreparably damaged.