The Deadpool trailer finally arrived this morning and it looks brilliant – full of the sort of action and importantly humour fans of the cult comic character would demand from any Deadpool film, but probably feared wouldn’t make it to the big screen. Check it out in all its NSFW red-band glory below.
Comic book characters often get watered down as they make the transition from print to screen. Deadpool was definitely a victim of this last time he appeared in a film. In the Marvel comic, he’s a cancer survivor turned sarcastic mercenary who regularly breaks the fourth wall, addressing the reader while on his violent adventures. His late, baffling inclusion in X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a full-on disaster – why sew up the mouth of a character whose incessant chattering is one of his main selling points? This time, though, there’s no stopping his motor-mouth this time, with the one-liners coming out faster than the bullets from his machine pistols.
The trailer actually tells us very little that we didn’t already know. There’s been ‘accidentally’ leaked test footage knocking around online for ages, plus further footage from ComicCon that showed us the all-new Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but it was still exciting. Its arrival was foreshadowed by a short teaser posted earlier this week in which Ryan Reynolds’ costume-clad assassin sat in a chair trying to smoke a pipe, while summarising Ryan Reynolds’ career and slamming Marvel for their treatment of him last time around. So meta.
And that, there, is where the character’s appeal lies – he’s the first postmodern comic-book icon. Just as the comic book movie genre threatens to sag, as Marvel run out of A-list properties to mine for big box office hits, Deadpool should revitalise things.
Marvel have been criticised before for sticking to a formula of sorts with their films, often culminating in huge city-destroying skyscraper battles. Now, just as audiences begin to wise up to this formula, comes a character whose very premise is unconventional – Deadpool is aware he’s fictional and plays on this to bend rules, and has been known to skip out of battles to read past editions of another comic book series to work out how to beat a rival. He’s not the only Marvel character to do things like this, of course – Hulk’s cousin She-Hulk, for example, has been known to talk to readers. But Deadpool is certainly the master. He’s not bogged down by the righteous backstory of other more established characters. He’s a bit more real. Sure, his powers come from side-effects of the Weapon X programme and he’s blessed with lightning reflexes and rapid healing powers meaning he could be decapitated and still survive (which has happened on a number of occasions in comics). But compared to the time-travelling super-solider Captain America, billionaire playboy inventor Iron Man, earth-loving thunder god Thor or giant green rage monster Hulk, he’s basically Joe Bloggs. If the Deadpool trailer is anything to go by, this convention-busting wisecracker could be exactly the super hero the comic book movie genre needs.