After over a decade of production hiccups, The ‘Merc with the Mouth’ is finally coming to theaters Friday, and fans are thrilled. Initial talk of a Deadpool movie began in 2000, but the character wasn’t introduced on the big screen until 2009, when he was played by Ryan Reynolds in “X-men Origins: Wolverine.”
Reynolds, who once said at a convention that he felt he was born to play the role, continued to push for the production of a standalone film until 20th Century Fox finally gave it the green light and started filming in 2015.
Here are some things you should know before watching the movie this weekend.
He’s not the same Deadpool from “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
Deadpool is restarting the origin of the character to be more true to the comics. In “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” Deadpool was depicted with no mouth, though the character is known as the Merc with the Mouth. The change was partly due to the PG-13 rating of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
In reality, Deadpool’s character is pretty raunchy. He crafts colorful insults, makes crude jokes and is generally off-color in his humor. Comic book movie adaptations have almost unanimously had PG-13 ratings in the past, but Reynolds pushed for “Deadpool’s” R rating so there could be more freedom to portray the character with all his dark-humored propensities.
Who is the real Deadpool?
First appearing in “The New Mutants” #98 comic book, Deadpool, whose alter ego is Wade Wilson, is the result of Weapon X genetic experimentation. Weapon X is a military project in Marvel comics that turns its subjects into mutant warriors. The project also created Wolverine. Wilson joined the program in an effort to cure his brain cancer.
From the experiment, Wilson gained accelerated healing powers, making him immortal. In one comic, he even survived decapitation by simply growing a new head. This, in addition to being skilled in martial arts, swordsmanship and marksmanship from his years as a soldier and mercenary, makes Deadpool a lethal anti-hero.
The Weapon X procedure also made Deadpool mentally unstable. His brain cells die off and regenerate at superhuman speed to keep his cancer at bay. The process makes him a bit crazy, and fans eat it up.
Deadpool’s mental instability makes for some really interesting exposition, which is the next thing you need to know before watching the movie.
The Fourth Wall
Deadpool knows he’s a fictional character, and often breaks the fourth wall in the comics to make cheeky comments and popular culture references directly to readers. He’s one of a few Marvel characters who share the tendency.
It’s been confirmed that Deadpool is omnisexual. His co-creator, Fabian Nicieza, has said “Deadpool is whatever sexual inclination his brain tells him he is in that moment. And then the moment passes.”
Deadpool’s love life in the comics is complicated and somewhat disturbing at times, but it’s uncertain how much of it will be put into the movie. For now, though, Morena Baccarin is playing Wilson’s girlfriend, Vanessa Carlysle.
Deadpool doesn’t really have friends, but he has people that are something close.
Weasel, played by T.J. Miller, is Deadpool’s informant and weapons dealer. He is also probably the closest thing Deadpool has to a best friend, despite the anti-hero sometimes being manipulative and cruel in the comics.
Blind Al, played by Leslie Uggams, is a blind elderly woman who plays Deadpool’s roommate in the film. In the comics, Blind Al is a prisoner with Deadpool, sometimes taking on the role of a friend.
The Marvel world is full of mutants, and some are making appearances in Deadpool.
Ajax, played by Ed Skrein, is also a product of the Weapon X program. He has super strength and a high tolerance for pain. Angel Dust, played by Gina Carano, is a mutant with super strength and speed.
Negasonic Teenage Warhead, played by Brianna Hildebrand, is a teenage mutant in training with the X-men. In the comics, she is assumed to have telepathic powers, but in Deadpool she will have the ability to launch atomic energy from her body.
Colossus, voiced by Stefan Kapicic, is another X-men member who has the ability to turn his skin to steel and harness super strength.
Not Safe For Work (NSFW)
It’s not typical for comic book movie adaptations to be rated R, so it may be shocking when the characters in Deadpool start to swear, make vulgar jokes and partake in graphic violence. This film is definitely not one for families, so keep that in mind when making plans for your relatives’ movie night.