Comic Book Casting: The DEADPOOL Live-Action Movie

deadpool_no__35600_900Every Monday here at iFanboy, we look at comics’ greatest characters and stories and try to imagine what they’d be like in film or television. From the story concept to the people in charge and all the way down to who’d play who, we do it and we call it Comic Book Casting.

Love him or hate him, he don’t care. And that’s part of his charm.

Marvel’s Deadpool is the company’s most popular original character created in the past 30 years, but that’s mired between overexposure and sometimes eccentric antics by creators who have worked on him for a time. Created back in the early 1990s by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza as a mash-up of DC’s Deathstroke and Marvel’s Spider-Man, this one-time supporting character quickly turned into a scene stealer before getting his own chance in the spotlight with his own series. After some tough years for all but the most ardent of Deadpool fans, the character experienced a resurgence as an unlikely team player in Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force and then fully consummated with Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan and Tony Moore reinvented the wheel in the Marvel NOW! era Deadpool series. So yeah, a Deadpool movie sounds like a great idea, but first — we need to take care of some business.

Forget Deadpool’s appearances in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Forget the previous build-up to a Deadpool movie. And forget Ryan Reynolds.

The Concept:

The best way to make a Deadpool movie work is to make it work as a Rated R Wile E. Coyote cartoon come to life. It’s a black comedy with guns and explosives on-set, set inside the X-Men movie universe. A Deadpool movie needs to start at ground zero. Deadpool could — and should — eat obvious continuity errors like the Ryan Reynolds Deadpool for breakfast, chewing while he walks in an Aaron Sorkin-meets-Rambo gun-toting fight sequence. Imagine a shell-shocked, chewed up special forces soldier who is inducted into a secret military program and spit out as Deadpool. That’s not the movie — that’s a 3-minute montage sequence to get to the real meat of the movie.

The plot of the movie would be Deadpool being recruited — forcibly — to work for a group of mercenaries working for a shadowy, sinister off-screen presence. Those mercenaries? The Marauders, headed up by Sabretooth — Victor Creed. His own movie inconsistencies are already mounting, but it could be held off as a mystery to be uncovered later in the end-credits when their boss appears. The story would be about Deadpool at first working with, and then rebelling, against the Marauders in his own signature way: on the run with tons of guns.

The Director:

Director Seth Gordon has worked with everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Billy Mitchell to the New York Dolls, but none of those will compare to Deadpool and Marvel fanboys. Gordon, who made his name directing the documentary King of Kong, jumped quickly into fictionalized fare with the excellent Horrible Bosses and then Identity Thief earlier this year. A few years back DC hooked him in to do a Suicide Squad adaptation, but that’ seemingly gone cold — cold enough for the Deadpool producers to swoop in and grab him up. Gordon’s work is sharp and dark, but knows how to balance comedy without it taking over a storyline — whether it be real life or fiction. The only negative I see is that Gordon has no experience doing an action movie, especially one which Deadpool would require, but Gordon looks to be a quick learner.

The Cast:

Deadpool / Wade Wilson – Will Arnett: Whoa whoa whoa, hold on… let me explain. He’s a well known comedy man for Arrested Development, but he’s not a comedian — he’s an actor. He’s shown his series side with roles in The Sopranos before his comedic turn, and I think Deadpool could be an opportune time for those two sides of Will Arnett to meet on the big screen. As a bonus, he’s got a voice meant for superheroes like few others.

Blind Al – Sharon Gless: She’s no Aunt May. This blind former British intelligence operative once bedded Captain America, and now serves as a mother hen to Deadpool. Used off-and-on-again in comics, for a  Deadpool movie Blind Al could act as a good base for Wade . Especially when she’s crazy too.

Blockbuster – Rory McCann:  As the muscle of the group, the Marauders’ Blockbuster has it in spades. He’s withstood a direct punch from Thor, and one actor who I think could fill that role would be Game of Thrones‘ Hound, Rory McCann.

Vertigo – Nicole LaLiberte: I found out about LaLiberte when she played the hipster vixen Lulu in HBO’s How To Make It In America, and since then she’s been a small actor I’ve been looking for a place in the superhero movie world to place. And playing the Savage Land mutant turned mutant hunter Vertigo seems like just the thing.

Prism – Charlie Cox: No, this isn’t Martinex from Guardians of the Galaxy — this is the super-powerful (but super fragile) villain Prism. Boardwalk Empire‘s Charlie Cox might be considered as too heartwarming to play a killer (despite playing a killer there), but I think Cox has the depth to really be pushed into a darker path.

Sabretooth – Liev Schreiber: X-Men Origins: Wolverine gave me quite a conundrum; hated the movie, loved the casting. First and foremost being Scream‘s Liev Schreiber as Victor Creed. Squarely placing him as the half-brother of Wolverine, but Schreiber’s Sabretooth can do more than just be an antagonist for Wolverine. I’d love to see producers bring him back as the savage Victor Creed and leader of the Marauders.

Scalphunter – Lou Diamond Phillips: I always thought Scalphunter was bad-ass, especially when Marc Silvestri drew him. And after watching some recent episodes of Longmire, I think former La Bamba frontman Lou Diamond Phillips would be a surprising but riveting choice to play this Native American WW2 vet. It might be asking for much, but I could see Scalphunter acting as almost an equal of Sabretooth despite the wide discrepency in popularity.

Mister Sinister / Dr. Nathaniel Essex – James Ransone: Blame Kieron Gillen, but since he popped up in Uncanny X-Men I have a new respect and understanding of Mister Sinister. With that, I’d consider making Sinister skew a bit  younger and give it over to one of the best young actors today, James Ransone. Ransone has positively killed it in his roles in three back-to-back David Simon TV shows The Wire, Generation Kill and Treme, and I’d love to see him live up to his potential and be a truly sinister force in superhero movies — the big reveal as the man behind the Marauders, leading into another X-Men movie.


  1. Now I am going to spend my time thinking about Deadpool doing GOB’s chicken dance.

  2. I think they would get a lot of X-Men fans on board by having Mr. Sinister and Sabretooth in a R-Rated movie. Plus it wouldn’t be too hard to work him into Deadpool’s origins, which are vaguely defined at best.

  3. Arnett as Deadpool would be PERFECT.

  4. This article makes Ryan Reynolds cry.

  5. I used to get excited over the prospect of a Deadpool movie, but these days, I’m fairly apathetic about it.

  6. Arnett as Deadpool is a brilliant casting choice.

  7. no thank you to Liev Schreiber as sabertooth

  8. Will Arnett never came to mind being Deadpool but now that you planted the seed I think it’s a fantastic choice.

  9. I love most of this, but what about Weasel? Hydra Bob (Because all Marvel movies have to interconnect somehow)? I think Deadpool is funniest when he has a straight man around, someone who tries and fails to ground his insanity.

    I’m not entirely sold on the movie because it sounds (and frankly looks, like Origins with the character roster). Why not just have him be a mercenary who Weapon X is shadowing and tries to capture at the end. Cue; EXPLOSIONS!

    I love the idea of Arnett playing Deadpool. I don’t know how physical he could get, but I imaigine we’d see more range out of him than Reynolds.

    • Deadpool is tied up with the X-Men franchise/film rights which are owned by Fox, while Hydra is still held onto by Marvel/Disney.

    • The film rights thing isn’t gonna stop Fox and Disney from using both Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (I’m assuming in the same summer no less). Plus I find it unlikely that Hydra will be used again anytime soon.

      Let Fox have Hydra Bob Disney.

  10. So in a Deadpool movie you guys cast Mr. Sinister and sabre tooth but not Hydra Bob?

  11. I guess I’m the odd man out. I thought Reynolds was fantastic as Deadpool. I mean, Origins wasn’t great(especially the Super Skrull Deadpool ending), but who didn’t laugh during the elevator scene.
    I also thought he was a good Hal Jordan, despite how terrible GL the movie was.
    I don’t understand all the cold shoulder negativity towards him.

    That said, I’m not sold on Arnett. I just can’t see it.

  12. Reynolds was good in the first half of Origins, then that was over. As far as I know this is the first time someone made an argument not to have Reynolds come back as Wade. But that elevator scene was funny.

    Reynolds was not a good Hal Jordon, he was good at playing the same character he did in Van Wilder,etc. He wasn’t bad in the movie exactly but I wouldn’t say he captured Hal Jordon.

    If you’re interested in seeing more of Will Arnett, check out “Arrested Development” seasons 1-3. He’s easily one of the funniest characters on the show, and that alone is good enough for me to see him as Deadpool. In fact his character GOB is kinda like Wade in his own way. Plus his face would be covered up in the movie anyway, all he needs is to be funny and be in shape.


  13. Yes!!! Say no to Ryan Reynolds Deadpool! Will Arnett is a great choice! He would have to beef up a bit, though,

  14. Not sure if I agree on the plot idea, but two thumbs up for Will Arnett as Deadpool. I couldn’t think of anyone who could do it when I saw this article’s title on the home page, but Arnett would be awesome.

    A svelte Jonah Hill might be able to pull it off, too. I’ve seen him in several movies lately where he was pretty hilarious in an off-kilter way.