Wade Wilson (film character)
|X-Men / Marvel Cinematic Universe character|
|Portrayed by||Ryan Reynolds|
|Full name||Wade W. Wilson|
|Spouse||Vanessa Carlysle (fiancee)[lower-alpha 2]|
Wade Wilson is a fictional character portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the X-Men film series released by 20th Century Fox and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) media franchise released by Marvel Studios. He is based on the Marvel Comics anti-hero of the same name and is sometimes referred to by his alter ego, Deadpool.
Originally appearing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the character was very different than his comic book counterpart, but later appears in the eponymous film Deadpool, its sequel Deadpool 2 and the short film No Good Deed in a form more true to the comics following the X-Men film series' timeline reset in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
The character will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe following The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Fox, with Reynolds slated to reprise his role in any future appearances as Deadpool.
Concept, creation, and characterization
This section needs expansion with: adding some themes that tie Deadpool's character as portrayed in film to the real world, as well as more behind-the-scenes information on how his character was portrayed during filming. As always, remember to source. You can help by adding to it. (July 2021)
Artisan Entertainment had announced a deal with Marvel Entertainment in May 2000 to co-produce, finance, and distribute several films based on Marvel Comics' characters, including Deadpool, a newer character introduced in the 1990s. By February 2004, writer and director David S. Goyer and Ryan Reynolds were working on a Deadpool film at New Line Cinema. They had worked together on the Marvel film Blade: Trinity. Reynolds was interested in the part of Deadpool after learning that in the comics the character refers to his appearance as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei". New Line executive Jeff Katz, who thought Reynolds was the only actor suitable for the role, championed the idea. However, there were rights issues with 20th Century Fox and their X-Men films, and the project did not move forward.
By March 2005, Reynolds learned that Fox had expressed interest in a film featuring Deadpool. The character was set to make a cameo appearance in the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, with Reynolds cast in the part. His role was expanded during the film's production. Katz was an executive at Fox at that point, and said that Deadpool was "nicely set up to be explored in his own way" in a future film. The film's portrayal deviates from the original comic character, "imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut". Deadpool apparently dies in the film, though a post-credits scene showing him still alive was added to the film shortly before its release. After the successful opening weekend of Wolverine, Fox officially began development on Deadpool, with Reynolds attached to star and X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner involved. The spinoff was set to ignore the Wolverine version of Deadpool and return to the character's roots with a slapstick tone and a "propensity to break the fourth wall".
At Fox, the film went through several directors before Tim Miller settled on the position, with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick hired to write the script. Meanwhile, Reynolds took the lead role in Green Lantern, a film that was critically and financially unsuccessful. Due to this poor reception and the fact that a film based on Deadpool would most likely be rated R instead of PG-13, Fox became doubtful about the project, even after Reynolds produced test footage of himself in-character. However, the footage was eventually leaked in 2014 to enthusiastic reviews, prompting Fox to green-light the project. Reynolds attributed Fox's green-lighting of the film entirely to the leak. He, Miller and the writers had previously discussed leaking the footage themselves, and Reynolds initially thought that Miller had done so. He later believed the leak came from someone at Fox. In exchange for being able to make the film the way they wanted, Fox gave the crew a much smaller budget than is typical for superhero films.
Behind the scenes
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2021)
Reynolds worked with longtime trainer Don Saladino to get in shape for the role of Deadpool, gaining 7 pounds of lean muscle. Saladino commented that while they aimed to achieve an aesthetically pleasing appearance, they also wanted to get Reynolds "actual strength over superficial", so they spent extensive time working on Reynolds' mobility prior to working on actual strength.
In both timelines, Wade possesses a highly sarcastic and great sense of humor that irritates and annoys most of his enemies. He regularly insults and belittles his enemies to his own godly. He feels no shame and can make a joke out of any situation, even after months of endless torture he was able to keep his sense of humor alive, despite it being shaken over some fear and shock over his subsequent transformation. Only a few select people can withstand his seemingly never-ending inability to stop talking, as his mouth was sewn shut in the climax of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
His personality is significantly more fleshed out in the new timeline. He loves cartoons, potty humor, Skee-Ball, classical music, television shows, rap music, and American pop culture. His favorite band is Wham! and George Michael, specifically, the song "Careless Whisper." He remains very movie-cultured, referencing The Matrix, RoboCop, Alien 3, Yentl, 127 Hours, Cocoon, Star Wars, Green Lantern (which also stars Ryan Reynolds), and even X-Men: Days of Future Past; like his comics counterpart, Wade himself is aware that he is a fictional character in a movie and belittles this by breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the audience.
Despite his initial immaturity, Wade is a genuine, soft, good-hearted man, and in time became a very moral and heroic person to the point of sacrificing himself to save Russell. Although he is a mercenary, he agreed to scare off a young girl's stalker without being paid for his troubles, revealing he can be affectionate. On matters of love, he can be surprisingly sensitive.
Future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
After the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company was announced in December 2017 and completed in March 2019, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Deadpool would be integrated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe under Disney, and that the company would be willing to make future R-rated Deadpool films "as long as we let the audiences know what's coming". The Once Upon a Deadpool version of the film was being watched carefully by Disney and Marvel Studios to see whether it might inform how they could approach the character and integrate him into the PG-13 MCU.
In October 2019, Reese and Wernick said that they have a script in development, but were waiting for approval from Marvel Studios to begin production on the third film. Reese said, "[Deadpool] will live in the R-rated universe that we've created, and hopefully we'll be allowed to play a little bit in the MCU sandbox as well and incorporate him into that." In December 2019, Reynolds confirmed that a third Deadpool film was in development at Marvel Studios, which was confirmed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige in January 2021, with Reynolds reprising his role. The film will retain the R-rating of the prior films and will be set in the MCU. Feige described Wilson as a "very different type of character" in the MCU.
- The first reference to Wade Wilson within the X-Men film series original timeline, in X2: X-Men United (2003). His name appears on William Stryker's computer while being infiltrated by Mystique to gain access to Erik Lehnsherr's files.
- Wade Wilson's first on-screen in the original timeline appearance is in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), he is supposedly killed by Victor Creed, but is later revealed to have been transformed by Stryker into mutant killer "Weapon XI", who possesses other mutants' powers, including Scott Summers' optic blasts, John Wraith's teleportation, Logan's healing factor, and a pair of extendable blades. He is also completely obedient to Stryker via Chris Bradley's technopathy. Logan and Creed fight Weapon XI and manage to defeat and seemingly killing him.
- Wade Wilson's first on-screen in the new timeline appearance is in Deadpool (2016).
- Wilson appears in the short film, No Good Deed (2017).
- Wilson returns in Deadpool 2 (2018).
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Wilson's first on-screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe appearance is in the promotional short film, Deadpool and Korg React (2021).
- An untitled Deadpool film is set to be released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with filming expected to begin after 2021.
Fictional character biography
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In the original continuity, Wade Wilson is a soldier and mercenary with enhanced human reflexes and agility due to him being a mutant. During the Vietnam War, Wilson is a member of a Black Ops group called Team X under the command of William Stryker. The team also includes James "Logan" Howlett, Victor Creed, Frederick Dukes, John Wraith, Chris Bradley, and Agent Zero. During one mission, while trying to find a mineral used to create adamantium, Stryker orders the team to massacre an entire village. Logan stops it, and leaves the group. After his departure, other team-members begin to question the team's morality and begin to leave including Wilson until only Creed and Agent Zero remain faithful to Stryker.
Later, Wilson is captured and taken to Stryker's base at Three Mile Island where he is experimented on for the Weapon XI project. Stryker collects DNA from mutants whose powers could be used collectively within one body without destroying it. With Creed's help, Stryker gathers the DNA of several mutants, including Wraith, Bradley, Scott Summers, and Logan, with Wilson being the host body. Stryker dubs him as the "mutant killer" known as the "Deadpool". After a battle against Logan and Creed atop a cooling tower at Stryker's plant, Weapon XI is beheaded and seemingly defeated by Logan. However, Wilson survives decapitation. He breaks the fourth wall during a post-credits scene, shushing to the audience that his survival must remain secret.
In this new continuity, Wade Wilson is a former Special Forces soldier who was dishonorably discharged, becoming a mercenary operating at Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Girls, where he meets and eventually proposes to Vanessa Carlysle. Unfortunately, Wilson is diagnosed with late-stage cancer shortly after. He is approached by a representative of an unknown organization, who offered him a cure in addition to powers "most men only dream of". While he initially declined, he eventually returned to accept the offer. However, not all was as it seemed, as he soon realized they were actually attempting to create an army of superpowered individuals under their control. Wilson underwent numerous forms of torture by the hands of Ajax and Angel Dust, though he never loses his sense of humor. Eventually, Ajax is successful in activating Wilson's dormant mutant genes, which allows him to heal and regenerate from any wound. The only problem, however, is that it also horrifically deforms his entire outer layer of skin. Wade attempted to escape and destroyed the facility in the process, but ultimately lost to Ajax in battle. Wilson is presumed dead, but survives thanks to his new-found abilities.
Afraid to confront Vanessa in his current appearance, Wilson takes on the moniker "Deadpool", after remembering when his best friend Weasel bet in the Sister Margaret's group "dead pool" that he would die, and begins hunting for Ajax to force him to fix him. He eventually tracks him down, though his attempt to kill him was interrupted by the Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead members of the X-Men. The two attempt to apprehend Wilson, however he manages to escape by severing his own hand. Shortly after, Ajax targets and kidnaps Vanessa to get back at Wade, hoping to lure him out and kill him for good. Upon learning of this, Deadpool contacts Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead for their assistance. The three confront Ajax and his men, where Deadpool is able to save Vanessa and ultimately kill Ajax, much to Colossus' dismay. Despite his appearance, Vanessa still accepts Wade, and the two embrace.
No Good Deed short film
As Wilson walks down the street of a ghetto neighborhood, he witnesses an old man getting mugged at gunpoint. Deciding to intervene, Wade goes to a nearby phone booth to change into his Deadpool costume. He struggles to do so, however, taking too long to change into his costume, which results in the old man eventually getting shot and killed, with the mugger having already fled. Deadpool decides to do small talk with the corpse of the old man and starts to eat the ice-cream that was part of his groceries.
Two years later, Wilson continues working as a successful mercenary-for-hire, taking down the most despicable and untouchable of criminals. On the day of his anniversary with Vanessa, Wilson is assigned to kill mobster Sergei Valishnikov. However, when Deadpool attacks his base, Valishnikov hides in a panic room. Since waiting for Sergei to get out was going to take too much time, Wade decides to let him go for the time being in order to spend time with Vanessa. Unfortunately, Valishnikov and his men decide to retaliate against Deadpool and attack him at his apartment, inadvertently killing Vanessa, after which Deadpool finishes the hit in vengeance. For the next six months, Wilson tries to commit suicide by blowing himself up. This ultimately fails, however, due to his healing factor, and his pieces remain alive to be found and reassembled by Colossus.
Colossus manages to convince Wade to join the X-Men as a form of physical and mental healing after the death of Vanessa. He becomes a trainee and accompanies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to a standoff between authorities and an unstable young mutant named Russell Collins. After trying to calm Russell down and prevent any more damage, Wade realizes that the orphanage where Russell lives, labeled a mutant "reeducation center," has abused him and Wade subsequently kills one of the staff members, leading to his and Russell's arrest. They are taken to the Ice Box and their powers inhibited with special collars. Meanwhile, a cybernetic soldier from the future, Cable, arrives in 2018 to murder Russell before he can kill his first victim, as Cable's family is murdered by a future version of Russell. Cable's breaking into the Ice Box allows for Wilson and Russell to escape their cell, and when Cable comes to kill Russell, Wilson's collar is broken in the melee. With his powers restored, he attempts to defend Russell, but is beaten by Cable who takes Vanessa's Skee-Ball token. Cable nearly beats Wade to death, and Wade experiences a vision of Vanessa in the afterlife where she convinces him to go after Russell and save him.
Wilson returns to life and forms a superhero team of his own called X-Force. They attempt to assault a convoy transferring Russell and several other Ice Box prisoners by parachuting from a plane, but the only survivors of the team end up being Wilson and Domino, a mutant whose powers pertain to luck. The two assault the convoy alone, finding Cable already on the scene. While Domino drives the truck and Cable fights Wilson, Russell releases fellow prisoner Juggernaut, who agrees to assist Russell in killing his abusive former headmaster. Before escaping, Juggernaut destroys the convoy and tears Wade in half, allowing the two of them to escape unhindered.
Cable reluctantly agrees to work with a recovering Wilson and Domino in order to stop Russell's first murder. The team is initially overpowered by Juggernaut while Russell terrorizes his headmaster until Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, and her girlfriend Yukio arrive and helped to hold him off. Wilson attempts to talk Russell down, even putting on an inhibitor collar to negate his powers as a show of good faith. This ultimately fails, however, and Cable shoots the boy. Wilson jumps in front of the bullet and is fatally wounded, as his healing factor is negated by the collar. Feeling it was his time to go, he refuses to let anyone remove the collar, choosing to be reunited with Vanessa in the afterlife. Russell is inspired by Wilson's sacrifice and choses not to kill the headmaster, preventing the death of Cable's family in the future. Cable decides to use his final time-traveling charge to go back and hide Vanessa's Skee-Ball token inside Deadpool's uniform, in the spot where he would be shot. Wade still takes the bullet for Russell, but this time it is stopped by the Skee-Ball token and Wade survived. Despite this, Russell is still inspired by Wade's sacrifice and does not kill the headmaster. As the group leaves the scene, however, Wade's taxi-driver friend Dopinder arrives and runs over the fleeing headmaster, killing him anyway.
Later on, Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Yukio manage to fix Cable's time-traveling device, and Wade uses it to make several alterations to the timeline. He first goes back and saves both Vanessa and former X-Force member Peter, who have no apparent powers. He then visits the original timeline and kills that universe's Wade Wilson by shooting him in the head. After this, he makes a stop in an alternate timeline, shooting Ryan Reynolds in the back of the head before he can sign onto the Green Lantern movie.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Deadpool and Korg React short film
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wade Wilson makes a trailer reaction video for Cruella as part of a series called Deadpool's Maximum Reactions, Wilson invites Korg to make a similar such video for the trailer for Free Guy, asking Korg of his opinion of Taika Waititi while commenting as to his own lack of resemblance to Ryan Reynolds' character in the film.
In other media
Reynolds reprised his role as Wade Wilson / Deadpool by co-narrating the Honest Trailers for Deadpool, Logan, which was the series' 200th video, and Deadpool 2. Reynolds also reprised his role again as Wade Wilson / Deadpool for the iOS and Android mobile game Marvel Strike Force.
This section needs expansion with: adding more context, sources, and explanation as why Reynold's performance as Deadpool was well received. You can help by adding to it. (July 2021)
Reynold's portrayal of the character has been positively received by fans and critics.
Reynolds has received numerous nominations and awards for his portrayal of Wade Wilson.
|2009||X-Men Origins: Wolverine||MTV Movie Awards||Best Fight
(shared with Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber)
|2010||People's Choice Awards||Favorite On-Screen Team
(shared with Daniel Henney, Dominic Monaghan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber and will.i.am)
|2016||Deadpool||Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Actor in an Action Movie||Nominated|||
|Best Actor in a Comedy||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Male Performance||Nominated|||
|Best Action Performance||Nominated|
(shared with Morena Baccarin)
|Best Comedic Performance||Won|
(shared with Ed Skrein)
|San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Comedic Performance||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Action||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Hissy Fit||Won|
|2017||Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Won|||
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||Won|||
|Favorite Action Movie Actor||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
- This version of the character appears in the original timeline of the X-Men film series.
- This version of the character appears in the new timeline of the X-Men film series after X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).
The plot description and characterization were adapted from Deadpool, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool (film), Deadpool 2 at X-Men Movies Wiki, which are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
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