This afternoon (Sept. 18), Fox announced that they are indeed moving ahead with a film for Marvel's "Merc with a Mouth", Deadpool, by assigning a winter release date for the X-Men character. Director Tim Miller is still attached but actor Ryan Reynolds, seemingly forever linked to the project, has no official deal set as of yet.
Pegging down a February 12, 2016 release is a sign that the studio is still highly committed and likely to make more announcements soon. Fox has been struggling to find a way to make the character work for a few years and have gone through quite a few rewrites and delays trying to get him to the screen.
Many wonder if a new sense of urgency might have swept through the studio recently due to footage test that leaked online and spread like wildfire about two months ago. The footage, created with Tim Miller in 2012, is mostly CGI and was likely testing not only the tone and mood of such a film, but also the banter and comedic style of what is likely Marvel's second most popular X-Character. At a bit over a minute and a half, the clip features Reynolds doing voice-over work that fans seemed to eat right up, claiming he perfectly captures the mutant anti-hero's sarcasm, silliness and baseline mental defectiveness:
Oh, yes, for the most part, this guy is mentally unstable... and ugly. Maybe you'd like some quick history?
Deadpool (Wade Wilson) first appeared in New Mutants #98 back in February 1991 as a villain, but soon settled into the anti-hero niche and has since appeared in many solo series, and guested in many other Marvel books. His sarcasm and talkative nature shifted and he morphed into the quippy, comedic anti-hero we know today. DP is a highly skilled mercenary and has a "healing factor" similar to Wolverine, but artificially accelerated. Unintentionally, that process had triggered cancerous cells inside him to spread across his entire body at an incredible rate, leaving his skin deformed and his brain similarly affected as his dying cells constantly regenerate, possibly the cause of his "madness" or instability. Prone to breaking the fourth wall, and often fully aware that he is in a comic book, several different creative teams have pushed these boundaries, or lack thereof, in highly imaginative ways.
Ryan Reynolds has long sought to play the character with his interest on public record as far back as 2003, and then finally portraying a version of him in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. With ties to the same covert "Weapon X" program that gave Wolverine his Adamantium claws, it seemed like the easiest way to bring him to film, but at some point there must have been a script change, because by the movie's ending he became the "big final fight" villain.
Fans ballyhooed this big screen Wade Wilson that had been changed vastly from the comics, and in the end, even Reynolds himself admitted to the fact that it was not what he really wanted, or thought the character was capable of.
Are you ready for some Deadpool?