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How Deadpool Saved the Superhero Genre

With just a single movie, Deadpool may have just saved the entire superhero genre by doing nothing more than making fun of it.

I'm not exactly someone who can be considered a hardcore Deadpool fan. I've read some of the comics, played the video game, and just generally had an appreciation for the unique nature of the character as he existed within the Marvel world. Those who are perhaps a bit more hardcore than I when it comes to the fandom, however, are the real stars in this story, as it's because of them, and only them, that Deadpool ever made it to the big screen in the first place.

Our story begins in 2014 with the leaking of some test footage that saw Deadpool take down a bunch of bad guys in the only way he can; through sheer reckless disregard for his own wellbeing. The fans loved it. It showed that the character could prove the doubters wrong and could sit comfortably on the big screen if given the chance. Then in late 2014 Deadpool fans got the news they had all been waiting for, that there definitely would be a movie, and it would be released early 2016. That was all pretty awesome, but then there was another worry. In the current landscape of superhero movies, none had a rating anymore adult than a PG-13 at that time, so it was expected that in order for Deadpool to fit within the current superhero landscape, the character would be watered down to fit a more broadly appealing PG-13 rating, rather than an R-Rating that would be the best fit for the character. Thankfully, thanks to the fight being put up by Ryan Reynolds, who would be cast to play the role he was born for, and many others, the film got its desired R-Rating.

You see, even if you are only broadly familiar with Deadpool, one thing you will no doubt know is that he doesn't fit within a PG-13 mould. He isn't clean, he isn't polite, and he certainly isn't family friendly. He's crude, crass, and ultra-violent, and for this film to work, you needed the character off the leash. He needed free reign to be the type of character even his most die-hard fans would be happy with, and then the trailer hit.

Deadpool Trailer

So the trailer delivered some of the crude humour, the intense action, and the much-loved fourth wall breaking the character is so well known for. I can't imagine what was said or done to convince movie studio execs to let them go this far with the movie, but it has paid off immensely for 20th Century Fox. The film grossed over $700 million at the box office on a production budget of only $58 million. This proved the naysayers wrong and gave the studio execs even more faith that this character was worth banking on in his purest form, and they quickly green-lit the sequel currently scheduled for release on 1st June 2018 in the UK.

Deadpool 2 Teaser

The sequel, which sees an expansion of the cast of characters and, undoubtedly, a slightly increased budget to play with, but it looks like it's set to retain the same crude humour, and amazing action set pieces. 

So I guess you're wondering precisely how Deadpool has managed to save such an increasingly broad genre? Well, the answer is simple, really. While I've enjoyed pretty much all superhero films released over the past 10 years or so (yes, even Green Lantern), Deadpool, they had grown formulaic, predictable, and extremely cheesy. They all offer their own individual thing, but fun for all the family isn't always a great thing when it's the same experience every time. This is why Deadpool has saved the genre, it's refreshing, unique, and something only really for adults. 

It's violent, it's crass, but it still manages to retain the same heart that a lot of the PG-13 superhero movies also try to convey. The success of Deadpool is also, arguably, the reason behind the final Wolverine movie, Logan, being allowed to be an R-Rated movie, and this is what led to it being the best, and most fitting, movie for the Wolverine character, and the perfect way to say goodbye. Deadpool was a risk worth taking, and it was a risk that paid off for the studio and for the fans, as this opens the door for more 'adult friendly' movies within the superhero genre. 

If the sequel is just as big a success as the first, then there will be no doubt that we will see many more R-Rated, or at least more adult-friendly, superhero films come out at a much quicker pace. 

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