Ryan Reynolds is doing press for the animated film “The Croods,” which means someone had to ask him about his two strikes at the bat with superhero comic book movies. That someone was Empire, who quizzed the actor about both films. Surprisingly, even though both films, “Green Lantern” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (wherein he played Deadpool) were fairly lame, he seems keen on returning to one of the franchises, but the other one not so much. Let’s start with “Green Lantern” since he was actually the face of the film and it was the much larger flop of the two (in fact, one of the biggest flops of 2011; read more about some of the Greatest Box-Office Flops Of All Time here).
Empire asked the inevitable question: If Warner Bros. mounts a “Justice League” film, would he return as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan? His answer isn’t so clear and he sort of dodges the question, suggesting he’s a bit reluctant to return to the role. Or at the very least suggest if he would return, there would really need to be the right director at the helm. Asked point blank, do you want to be involved, he pauses and says, “Uhhh, I don’t know…”
“If you’re going to do comic book movies in that vein, you really have to get them right,” Reynolds said. “I believe that Joss Whedon is the guy that just nails it and Christopher Nolan obviously nails it. So if they were gonna do it like that, it would be an interesting thing to do.”
“It’s just that… working on ‘Green Lantern,’ I saw how difficult it is to make that concept palatable,” he continued (funnily enough, we had the exact same reaction watching the thing). “And how confused it all can be when you don’t really know exactly where you’re going with it or you don’t really know how to access that world properly – that world comic book fans have been accessing for decades and falling in love with. So at this point I have very little interest in joining that kind of world. But, you know, a great script and a good director can always turn that around.”
Well, pretty straightforward. Not so much, unless you get an awesome script and an A-List director on board. Reynolds is much more optimistic about “Deadpool,” the sarcastic, motormouth anti-hero mutant he played in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” And maybe it’s because “Deadpool,” written by the guys who penned “Zombieland,” would be tonally very different, dark, R-Rated and funny. Oh yeah, one other thing, It’s probably never going to get made for what will soon become obvious reasons.
“I love Deadpool and there is a script that’s in development. But it’s so, so far into the R-rated zone… it’s a nearly NC-17 world and I just don’t know if the studio would ever risk their reputation doing it,” Reynolds admitted. “We’ve been developing it and we would never wanna do it unless you could it that R-rated way, so…”
“[The Deadpool script has] got a similar tone [to Zombieland], almost,” he added. “They wrote it and they developed it as well and, you know, it’s sitting there. You could do it for a pittance compared to the modern sort of epic scale superhero movies, but it’s about a guy who knows he’s in a movie and knows he’s in a comic book who is deeply mentally disturbed and hyper violent. And that’s tough to get by a studio.”
It probably doesn’t help that the “Deadpool” movie would, according to Reynolds, end up dissing his appearance in the earlier franchise picture. “The script is one rewrite away from Deadpool jumping across the desk at the studio executive and attacking him… In the current iteration of the script, it doesn’t address Wolverine – though it does address Deadpool’s appearance in ‘Wolverine’. Deadpool was not happy with Deadpool in Wolverine. He has a sort of a WTF!? moment with that.”
Of course, there’s plenty of factors that could make the film more viable; if the R-rated “Kick-Ass 2” proves a hit this summer, as Empire points out, or if Reynolds’ own comic-book vehicle “R.I.P.D.” manages the same, then Fox could end up moving their R-rated X-spin-off up the priority list. We’ll see how that turns out in a few months, but for now, you can read more from Reynolds over at Empire, and see (or more accurately, hear) him in theaters in “The Croods” this weekend.