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Deadpool trailer released – wait, who the hell is Deadpool? (NSFW)

A beginner's guide to the latest and most bonkers Marvel movie project

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Deadpool trailer released – wait, who the hell is Deadpool? (NSFW)

After a string of teasing stills, the R-rated trailer for Deadpool has been released, first to an ecstatic reception at San Diego's Comic-Con, and now online.

The trailer for what, now?
Deadpool, the newest Marvel superhero movie, starring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) and TJ Miller (Silicon Valley).

So you're telling us that Marvel have made another movie out of a comic we've never heard of?
Yes, but bear in mind that the last time they did that, the result was Guardians of the Galaxy.

True. So, who's this Deadpool?
So glad you asked. When wisecracking former special forces soldier Wade Wilson is diagnosed with cancer, he undergoes a special treatment that gives him superpowers: he can heal from pretty much any injury, but he's also almost completely bonkers and with a severely twisted sense of humour. A typical throwaway gag in the comic sees Deadpool inserting a struggling rodent into the barrel of a gun with the remark 'Listen, vermin, I went to all the trouble of giving you rabies. The least you could do is get in the shotgun.'

The other notable thing about Deadpool, which sets him apart from such po-faced characters as certain recent takes on Superman and the Fantastic Four, is that he knows he's in a comic. When Deadpool was once confronted by an enemy he couldn't remember, he looked up the back issues to remind himself who the guy was. This bend-it-and-see attitude to the fourth wall is what the character is all about: in one promo interview for the film, host Mario Lopez attempts to persuade Reynolds that it's in everyone's interest for the filmmakers to tone the movie down to a PG-13 rating, only for Deadpool to saunter into the frame and whack Lopez over the head with a studio light.

Ryan Reynolds, you say? Famous for never quite finding the right role?
It's true that Reynolds has come to be regarded as a bit of a nearly man. The actor has been associated with a Deadpool movie project since 2004, and finally got to play a version of the character in 2009's underwhelming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but fans were dismayed at how the larger-than-life Deadpool was toned down into a supporting villain, nicknaming him 'Dudepeel'. Reynolds then made a grab for superhero stardom in the 2011 flop Green Lantern, the failure of which is alluded to in the Deadpool trailer, with Wade's nervous remark 'And please don't make the super-suit green.'

Deadpool, with its R-rating and its in-built tendency towards outrageous dark comedy, is hardly likely to make Reynolds a family-friendly star, but the success of Joss Whedon's Marvel films shows that every good superhero movie needs a sense of fun – and Deadpool's reaction in the trailer to pulling off a mid-air three-person headshot is gleefully on the money. Perhaps Reynolds is at last having his moment.

Deadpool is released in the UK on Mon 1 Feb 2016.

Deadpool

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • US
  • 108 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Tim Miller
  • Written by: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
  • Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Ed Skrein
  • UK release: 10 February 2016

Cynical crook Wade Wilson (Reynolds) undergoes an experimental procedure to transform him into a superhero, but emerges as the scarred and revenge-bent Deadpool. The emphasis on knowing humour is a bit obnoxious but it's a lot of fun, and Reynolds, with his likeability and swagger, was born to play the title role.

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