Deadpool, historically, has generally faced an uphill battle in terms of taking it beyond the pages of comic books. The famed merc-with-a-mouth seemed too hot for Hollywood to touch. Even in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the Deadpool Ryan Reynolds portrayed was a diluted version that went down with audiences almost as poorly as Green Lantern a few years later.
It was only after test footage of Reynolds as Deadpool was leaked that a faithful portrayal of the much-loved anti-hero got off the ground. A viral marketing campaign and enthusiasm for an R-rated comic book adaptation made Deadpool a surprise success, at least as far as the suits were concerned. The fans knew it all along.
When whispers circulated about a Deadpool cartoon, fans were understandably overjoyed. Add in Donald Glover, who can’t seem to stop stacking titles and accomplishments, and it seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true, and the planned FXX show crashed and burned on the launch pad, with FX, who currently has Marvel’s Legion in their programming block, citing “creative differences”.
Some blame shifting occurred in the press, and someone thought it was a good idea to imply that Glover just didn’t have the time. Glover is definitely busy, from winning a Grammy for “Redbone” to writing Atlanta to being Lando Calrissian, but it certainly hasn’t stopped him from excelling at just about everything he touches. For all we mortals know, he’s an actual Time Lord. In a glorious middle finger Deadpool would be proud of, Glover wrote an entire script in one night, releasing it March 28th with a chain tweet and a quote: “for the record: i wasnt too busy to work on deadpool.” and let the viral winds of the internet run with it.
The setup for the script is great; Deadpool is the perfect vehicle for verbal and physical non-sequiturs, and placing him on a stroll through the middle of nowhere in Africa next to the recently deceased last White Rhino, Sudan, is nothing short of inspired. Any frustration Glover had at the situation is worked off in a 15-page, one-sided conversation where Glover as Deadpool eviscerates pretty much everyone, hitting multiple pop-culture references, all under the delightful cover of a hilarious bit. How mad Glover was and what parts of the script he actually meant is up for debate, but one thing is for certain; the man’s time-management skills will never be called into question again.
In the grand tradition of Deadpool leaks, Floyd County, the animation studio responsible for Archer, leaked some goodies of their own a few days later, giving us a taste of what might have been. The test footage is admittedly raw and uses lines from the Deadpool movie, but the impact of slapstick-heavy animation with Reynolds’ familiar biting wit really makes you hope Marvel can recognize there’s a lot of good to be salvaged out of the failed deal with FX. Check out the clip here.
It remains to be seen if Glover and his brother, Stephen, who was a co-writer for the concept, will ever see their vision of Deadpool released on the small screen. This may be one catastrophe that Regenerating Degenerate can’t regenerate from, but at least we can look forward to the May 18th release of the silver screen incarnation of Deadpool 2.