Talk about an odd journey to the big screen! After all, how often do you get a movie greenlit based entirely on positive reactions to illegally leaked test footage?
But that’s exactly what happened in the summer of 2014 with nearly two minutes of test footage for a potential Deadpool movie released online. That leak would directly lead to the executives at 20th Century Fox (may they rest in peace) putting the film into pre-production for an eventual release in February 2016. Though 5 years later there still isn’t a clear idea of who the culprits were, several outlets like The Hollywood Reporter indicate there’s a strong chance it was Tim Miller; the man who would go on to make his feature debut with the film.
And what a debut! Off a budget of only $58 million, the film would go on to gross a worldwide total of approx $783 million. That, by the way, makes it the second highest grossing X-men movie EVER (and beaten only by its own sequel). In fact, achieving a box office multiplier 13 times its original budget makes it (from a certain point of view) a far more impressive achievement than films like Black Panther or The Last Jedi (both of which made “only” 6 times their original budget.)
This grand success also makes the slight under-performance of Deadpool 2 a little puzzling. Though the budget for the sequel had been nearly doubled to $110 million and the cast was filled with far more recognisable actors (such as Josh Brolin); the movie would gross a worldwide total of $785 million, barely 2 million more than the original.
I’m sure many people have a variety of reasons as to why this happened, but I can’t help thinking that this result is in part because of that slight loss of originality. While Deadpool 2 was easily as good as the original, it no longer had that “something we’ve never seen before” sheen that its predecessor could rely on.
That “uniqueness” is therefore something that is paramount when trying to make future Deadpool installments relevant. And what could be more relevant in this day and age than the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?
Of course, such a melding is now much easier with the recent purchase of 20th Century Fox by Disney. And yet it’s impossible to not also keep in mind that Deadpool’s R-rated antics do not make him a natural fit for the PG-13-based MCU.
Perhaps though, that inherent incompatibility could make a great comedy film by itself. In other words, my one line pitch would be:
In a desperate attempt to stay relevant, Deadpool tries to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe with disastrous results.
We open on Deadpool and Vanessa dining in an upmarket restaurant. There’s wonderful news as Vanessa announces that she’s pregnant. Ecstatic at the announcement, Deadpool can’t wait to get home and celebrate (especially since it’s also International Woman’s Day!)
Alas, Deadpool seems to have a little problem paying for the meal…
Deadpool: Bat Credit Card?
Server: Are you Batman sir?
Deadpool: Of course. Red suit. Blood stains. That’s Batman right?
Server: Batman doesn’t kill.
Deadpool: Tell that to Zack Snyder.
(By the way, if you groaned at that poor excuse for a joke, Wade Wilson and myself are absolutely with you. A comedian I am not!)
Unable to pay, the couple are forced to wash dishes resulting in an upset Vanessa and a disappointing night. The next day, Deadpool goes to meet with his accountant and receives some bad news.
Accountant: Sorry Mr Pool, but you’re flat out broke.
Deadpool: Broke? How’s that possible? What about all my merchandise?
Accountant: Not selling I’m afraid.
Deadpool: Oh come on! What about Deadpool’s Official Guide to Touring North Korea?
Accountant: Banned by Kim Jong Un. He had a small objection when you referred to him as a “Handsome Mickey Rourke.”
Deadpool: It was a compliment! Okay, what about my line of disability equipment for blind kids? To help them feel their way around.
Accountant: You mean the “Deadpool Touches Kids” collection? Yeah… Didn’t do that well.
Deadpool: What about the Triple D?!?
Accountant: The Deadpool Dildo Drencher? A complete failure ever since The Hulk got his on the market.
Deadpool: Damn that huge green monster! And to hell with his huge green monster too!
Accountant: People aren’t interested in you anymore. I’m sorry Mr Pool, but until you put yourself back in the public eye, nothing will sell.
Depressed as fuck, Deadpool takes to roaming the streets, singing to drown his sorrows, à la Peter MacNicol from the first Mr Bean movie.
But then! A sign!
As in a literal sign! For a new Avengers movie!
A light bulb goes off in Deadpool’s head. The perfect way for him to remain relevant is literally staring him in the face. And even though Vanessa, Weasel and Negasonic Teenage Warhead all tell him he has no chance; Deadpool moseys on down to Marvel headquarters in an attempt to join the MCU…
And he can’t even get in the front door.
Why? Maybe they keep mistaking him for Daredevil? Or maybe they just don’t recognise Deadpool? Regardless of the reasons, Deadpool is stuck outside and runs into a member of the MCU.
This is the point where I’m a little undecided. Who should this character be? It can’t be any of the big ones, like the original Avengers. Rather it should be a smaller supporting character. Perhaps one that doesn’t have a solo project lined up in the foreseeable future?
For now though, lets just say its Paul Rudd/Ant-Man.
It’s with Ant-Man’s assistance that Deadpool manages to enter the building and get into a meeting with the lead producer of the MCU, Kevin Feige.
Now, now. Stay with me. I am well aware that Feige isn’t an actor and doesn’t seem to like making appearances on screen. It’s why this character will be a Feige in name only. Hell, let’s make a joke about it.
Deadpool: Hey Kev! Love what you’ve done with your hair… And your clothes… And your nose… And your skin… Wait, who the hell are you?
So this (Fake?) Feige pretty much lays all his cards on the table. Deadpool can’t join the MCU. He’s too rude, too brutal, too sexual, too sweary, too [insert moral panic here]. But Deadpool is desperate. He wants to keep Vanessa happy, he wants to provide for his baby, and he wants to be back on top.
Fake Feige offers him a compromise and says that if Deadpool can prove he can fit into a PG-13 world, then he can join the MCU. With gusto, Deadpool agrees. But as soon as Deadpool’s left, Fake Feige grins to himself. The fake producer heads into the next room where the REAL KEVIN FEIGE is gagged and tied to a chair.
(Again, he may not like acting, but I’m pretty sure the man can spend a few minutes tied up.)
As Fake Feige starts to monologue, it turns out that he works for some powerful people. People who have tasked him to stop at nothing to prevent Deadpool from joining the MCU.
All of the above will take up the first act. As we move into the second act we start to witness Deadpool undertaking various tasks in an attempt to make himself “more PG-13” (such as anger management or diction classes) and constantly failing in weird and hilarious ways. Some in part because of his R-rated nature; while others are actively sabotaged by people working for Fake Feige.
Gradually though, these tasks start to work and Deadpool does manage to tone himself down to a PG-13 level. (Sacrilege I hear you say!) Fake Feige does not take the news well though. He was so confident Deadpool would fail that drastic action must be taken. But when Deadpool finds out that Fake Feige planned for him to fail… Well, let’s just say all that PG-13 training gets thrown out the window 🙂
So, what do you think? Too silly? Too offence? Something Disney will never go for? Sound off in the comments.